Barry Kipperman, DVM, DACVIM, MSc, DACAW

Dr. Barry Kipperman is board-certified in both small animal internal medicine and in animal welfare and was staff internist and founder of a 24-hour referral/emergency practice in the San Francisco Bay area. After 26 years in practice, he decided to devote the remainder of his career to animal welfare and ethics.

Dr. Kipperman received a masters degree in animal welfare, ethics and law from the University of Edinburgh in 2017. He teaches veterinary ethics at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and animal welfare and ethics for the University of Missouri. His particular interests include farm animal welfare, the influence of economics on animal welfare and veterinarian well-being, and the ethical dilemmas of veterinarians. Dr. Kipperman has published numerous papers on ethical issues within the veterinary profession. Among the works he has written are two columns published in the HSVMA e-newsletter, "Should Veterinarians Discuss the Cost of Care with Our Clients?," and "Economic Euthanasia: A Disease in Need of Prevention." Barry is co-author of Ethics in Veterinary Practice: Balancing Conflicting Interests and is author of Decision Making in Veterinary Practice.

Dr. Kipperman is the Board President of both the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and MightyVet, an organization devoted to the wellness of veterinary professionals. Barry also serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics. He is a member of the California Veterinary Medical Association's animal welfare committee.

Paula Kislak, DVM

Her noteworthy career has involved work with the San Diego Humane Society and The Humane Society of Greater Miami, as well as positions in private practice in California. She currently serves as a relief veterinary practitioner and is both a consultant and lobbyist for animal welfare issues.Dr. Paula A. Kislak graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida in 1984, after pursuing degrees in both psychology and zoology at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Dr. Kislak has been a powerful advocate for animals over the years, acting as an expert witness on a variety of animal related issues and participating in a number of advisory boards and activist organizations. She has published research articles for the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and given numerous presentations both nationwide and overseas.

She has been affiliated with several professional veterinary organizations in her career, most notably the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, which she served as both president and board member of for many years. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Humane Society of the United States.

Sy Woon, BVSc

Dr. Sy Woon originates from Australia where she grew up in Canberra and graduated from the University of Sydney’s veterinary school. Since moving to the United States in 2015, she has worked extensively in private practice as well as at non-profit hospitals and rescues. During this time, she was appointed Medical Director at both Justin Bartlett Animal Hospital and Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida. She also worked with Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, providing mobile in-home euthanasia and hospice care, and is currently undertaking her Veterinary Acupuncture certification with Chi University., In 2022, she moved to Los Angeles to launch the LA branch of a mobile vet company and subsequently founded her own house-call euthanasia service, Angel Wing Vets Los Angeles. For the prior seven years, she has been the HSVMA Florida State Co-Representative which involved advocating for and lobbying on animal welfare issues such as puppy mills and declawing, as well as being actively involved in legislative reforms such as the successful ban on greyhound racing in Florida. Having moved to LA, Dr. Woon has continued her position with HSVMA as a California State Co-Representative, which has also entailed legislative lobbying efforts.

During vet school, Dr. Woon served as President of the University of Sydney Animal Welfare Society for three years and was heavily involved in campaigning on various animal rights/welfare issues within her university, the local community and nationwide. She founded the Sydney University Vets Beyond Borders Student Chapter and was selected as a representative on her university’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. Dr. Woon worked as Project Officer and Volunteer Coordinator for Medical Advances Without Animals (MAWA) Trust for several years, and was involved with Sentient, The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics as Student Coordinator, and then Committee Member. She wrote a project proposal for Sentient that was awarded a grant from Voiceless The Animal Protection Institute to fund the development of an annual essay contest for veterinary students encouraging critical research into animals exploited in agriculture, entertainment and laboratories.

Dr. Woon has spoken at multiple stateside and international conferences on animal welfare and ethics, and last year was invited by Global Talent Partners (one of the largest veterinary recruitment agencies) to create and present a lecture series for vet students. She was awarded a Davis Projects for Peace grant to carry out a rabies prevention and education campaign in India that she independently designed; she presented her research on humane veterinary education as an invited speaker at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Montreal; and her op-eds on social issues and her humane veterinary education research have been published in newspapers and journals, including the Sun Sentinel and ALTEX, in addition to being invited by top US political platform, The Hill, to publish an op-ed on heat stress in pets.

 Dr. Woon’s viral pet education videos on Tiktok have garnered millions of plays and reactions, and she has been commissioned by pet wellness brands to produce pet education video content. Most recently, Dr. Woon is collaborating with Petszel (revolutionary post-adoption digital platform for pet parents) to create a series of veterinary educational videos. Dr. Woon also aspires to develop an educational channel for young children, with the aim of fostering their innate compassion for animals, and she is currently in contract negotiations with a Los Angeles-based production company to produce and star in a reality show focused on senior rescue dogs. Dr. Woon has been invited as a veterinary guest to radio shows, including NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’, 'Talking Animals' on WNMF (88.5 FM), and podcasts such as ‘Humane Voices.’ She has also been interviewed for media reports such as ABC’s WPBF 25 News, Fox News, WESH2 News as well as being featured as a veterinary expert on news stations including NBC and CBS News.

In an effort to destigmatize the mental health crisis being faced in the often private veterinary world, Dr. Woon envisioned her podcast, “The Secret Lives of Vets” which will be launching at the end of May 2024. Veterinarians and vet techs bear one of the highest suicide rates of all the professions and continue to face issues such as veterinary shortages which compound existing stressors. By opening up these candid personal discussions with vets themselves, and exploring these factors alongside psychology expert guests, Dr. Woon endeavors to shed light on the mental health struggles pervading her profession and encourage solutions.

To contact an HSVMA State Representative, please email [email protected].