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SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Ron Dalzell

Dr. Dalzell never stops taking care of the K-9s.

SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Ron Dalzell

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. Ron Dalzell, a founding member of NPDF and 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.

This dedication and service is best exemplified by Dr. Ron Dalzell. A veterinarian of 43 years, Dalzell attributes his work ethic to values instilled in him during childhood. He explains how he’s always been raised to pursue something he loves and to not just “look for a job, but a service to your fellow man.”

Dr. Dalzell spent the first 20 years of his career working for wildlife rehabilitation. In fact, it was not until a Lieutenant from the Ventura Police K-9 Unit approached Ron that he began working with police K-9s.

In 1998, Dalzell and the Lieutenant co-founded the Ventura Police Dog Foundation that eventually evolved into the National Police Dog Foundation. Raising money for the police dogs proved difficult, as any money donated to the K-9s would go to the city instead. Dalzell explains, “we decided it was time to establish a foundation with a citizen group that not only could provide funding, but help ensure that donors’ money would only go toward the dogs.”

What initially started as the Ventura Police Dog Foundation grew to other local counties, and soon all of Southern California. The work done today is on a national scale, so the name accordingly became the National Police Dog Foundation. Dalzell explains, how he’s “really proud of what has been accomplished,” and credits the many people that have donated their time to further this cause.

Though Dr. Dalzell is now retired, he continues to take part in ensuring the safety and well-being of police K-9s. He now has a mobile clinic, which he takes to local K-9 training events in case any emergency treatment is needed. He also provides consulting, from answering phone calls to assessing images of injuries. Dr. Dalzell describes how valuable it is to “save the expense of an emergency visit.” He explains that any K-9 can come to his house “any day or night,” because he would “rather be bothered ten times too many than once not enough.”

Dr. Dalzell emphasizes his philosophy that veterinary work is a service, both for the animal and its handler. He stresses how “the things most rewarding in practice are done out of sheer love,” and hopes that other veterinarians develop the same mindset. Dalzell encourages his fellow veterinary peers to do more charitable work in order to give back to their communities. He specifically praised Dr. Chris Frier and Dr. Stacey Hall of the Camino Animal Clinic in Thousand Oaks, California for putting these words into action.

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. Dalzell’s service and honors him by shining the “spotlight” on him.

In this month’s newsletter, the NPDF spotlights Dr. Ron Dalzell, one of its founders and veterinary partners. NPDF spotlights our 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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