Dr. Treyton Diggs Makes History

Dr. Treyton Diggs Makes History as the First Black Veterinarian to be Named Westminster Kennel Club’s Veterinarian of the Year

The Westminster Kennel Club has made a groundbreaking decision in 2024. Dr. Treyton Diggs has been named Veterinarian of the Year, marking a significant milestone. He is the first Black veterinarian and first Louisianan to receive this prestigious honor.

Breaking Barriers in Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Diggs’ selection highlights his exceptional contributions to animal care. The Westminster Kennel Club recognized his “values, dedication, and moral compass in animal care.” This achievement is particularly noteworthy given the underrepresentation of Black professionals in veterinary medicine.

According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 2.2% of veterinarians in America are Black. Dr. Diggs’ recognition thus serves as an inspiration for aspiring Black veterinarians nationwide.

A Humble Leader in Animal Care

Despite the personal honor, Dr. Diggs remains modest about his achievement. He attributes his success to his dedicated team. In a statement to 4WWL, Dr. Diggs expressed his gratitude and shared perspective:

“I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected for such a prestigious award from The Westminster Kennel Club, which significantly highlights my career and who I strive to be personally and professionally. I share this award with my amazing colleagues who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me in making a difference, and validating the impact of veterinary medicine while simultaneously teaching our children and students that dreams accompanied with dedication, perseverance, and grit can become a reality.”

Education and Representation in Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Diggs is a proud alumnus of Tuskegee University, one of the few HBCUs offering veterinary medicine programs. His success story adds to the growing visibility of Black veterinarians in media and education.

Shows like National Geographic’s “Critter Fixers” and Animal Planet’s “The Vet Life” showcase successful Black veterinarians. These programs, along with initiatives like the national Vet for a Day program, aim to inspire more diverse representation in the field.

Paving the Way for Future Generations

Dr. Diggs’ achievement is more than a personal accolade. It represents a step forward in diversifying the veterinary profession. His success story can inspire young people of color to pursue careers in veterinary medicine.

As Dr. Terrance Ferguson, co-star of “Critter Fixers,” noted in a 2021 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “When I was young, I didn’t see a Black veterinarian, so I said, ‘You know what? I want to let kids know that it does not matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re handicapped. Whatever your restrictions are, you can become one—even if you don’t see it.’”