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SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Rodney Ayl

Dr. Ayl at work giving that love and care.

SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Rodney Ayl

In our continuing Spotlight Series that spotlights volunteers, donors, and organizations who support K-9s across the nation, NPDF is putting the spotlight on Dr. Rodney Ayl, who serves on the NPDF board and is also part of the NPDF Medical Advisory Board.

The NPDF is grateful to be aided by many veterinary partners who generously donate their time, energy, and resources to provide K-9s with medical care pro-bono or at heavily reduced pricing. This work is essential to police departments and law enforcement agencies, most of which do not receive the necessary funding to provide extensive medical care to their K-9s.

Dr. Ayl is a highly respected Double Board-Certified Veterinary Oncologist, specializing in both medical and radiation treatment. He works at two California practices: Animal Specialty Group in LA, and Advanced Veterinary Specialist in Santa Barbara.

Despite his impressive achievements, Dr. Ayl came from rather humble beginnings. He grew up in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) with a love of animals, enjoying spending his time on a friend’s farm. He pursued that love academically, studying at Witwatersand University and later the University of Pretoria both in South Africa. His pursuit of education even allowed him to live the American dream – he interned at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, and completed his Medical Oncology Residency at Ohio State University.

Today, Dr. Ayl treats a variety of different patients. In fact, he sits on the Medical Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Zoo, so he’s worked with everything from birds and rabbits to rhinos and leopards. When asked about his favorite animal to treat, however, Dr. Ayl chose dogs. He explains, “what makes working with dogs special is the unique relationship that you build with them.” This passion eventually led Dr. Ayl to get involved with NPDF.

Dr. Ayl’s was first exposed to NPDF when he treated a K-9 from the Ventura Police Department with hemangiosarcoma, a rapid form of cancer. Because the K-9 was still an active working dog, Dr. Ayl had to be creative when picking the correct chemotherapy treatment, as the standard protocol might affect the dog’s heart. Instead, he chose an alternate treatment, allowing the dog to continue its duties in the force. Soon after, he treated a retired police K-9 that took part in the post 9/11 search-and-rescue team. When Dr. Ayl found out how much the K-9 handlers are financially burdened when their K-9’s retirement, he knew that he had to help make a difference.

Today, Dr. Ayl sits on the board for the NPDF, always providing unique perspectives and insights. He explains, “I am in awe of any service dog” and he is proud to support a cause that “enhances the bond between humans and animals.” Dr. Ayl has also been instrumental in connecting NPDF with vendors and companies within the veterinary world. He introduced Petplan to the NPDF, which has helped hundreds of handlers and pet owners get affordable health insurance for their K-9s and pets. This special arrangement of discounted insurance that Petplan offers through NPDF has helped reduce the huge financial burden that is placed on handlers, both during active duty of the K-9s, and into their retirement.

To find out more about this discounted pet insurance please go to

Dr. Ayl continues to dedicate his time to help grow the NPDF, and in doing so touches the lives of K-9s across the nation.

The NPDF tirelessly works to raise medical funds, but the success of a treatment is ultimately up to the incredible medical team. The National Police Dog Foundation is grateful for Dr. Ayl’s service, and so glad to be able to shine the “spotlight” on him.

In this month’s newsletter, the NPDF spotlights Dr. Rodney Ayl, one of its veterinary partners. In future newsletters we will continue to spotlight our other volunteers and veterinary partners, in no specific order or merit. We are grateful to them all for the wonderful work they do for the NPDF.


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