Vint Virga with Molly, a Barbary sheep. (Credit Robin Schwartz for The New York Times)
or over twenty-five years, Dr. Virga has been a distinguished practitioner and leader in veterinary medicine, recognized for his insights into our relationships with animals. His expertise spans the animal kingdom from dogs and cats to wild species such as leopards, gibbons, wolves, and giraffes. As the founding president of Veterinary Healing Arts, he has worked extensively with dogs, cats, and their human families on behavioral issues of concern to them and currently serves as a consultant to zoos and wild animal parks on the behavioral well-being and management of animals in their care.A recognized expert on animal behavior and a prominent advocate for nurturing the human-animal bond, Dr. Virga has appeared as a featured guest on ABC World News, PBS Nature, and National Geographic Explorer. Outside of clinical practice, he has served as an advisor to leading U.S. corporations, professional associations, and animal welfare organizations; a veterinary liaison to the U.S. congress; and an expert on legal and legislative issues concerning animal health and welfare. He is distinguished for his insights into the parallels between human and animal behavior – making animal behavior meaningful, relevant, and easy to understand.
In his writing, Dr. Virga portrays a unique sensitivity and compassion toward both humans and animals. His first book, The Soul of All Living Creatures, was published by Random House / Crown in July 2013 and will be released in paperback this coming July. He writes a regular blog for Psychology Today and has contributed to Conjunctions, Biographile, MindBodyGreen, Books for Better Living, and TheDodo.com. In recognnition of his writing, Dr. Virga has been awarded two MacDowell Fellowships and a George and Kate Kendall Fellowship.
Dr. Virga received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis and completed his clinical residency in behavioral medicine at Cornell University. He is board-certified in veterinary behavior and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
Dr. Virga lives in southern New England with his wife, daughter, and two Norwegian forest cats.