Franklin veterinarian serves her community and the profession

Dr. Kathy Kunkel honored as CVM alumna

Dr. Kathy Kunkel of Franklin, Tennessee, was recently honored with the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kunkel (right, with award) is shown with UTCVM Dean Jim Thompson. Photo courtesy UTIA. Download image

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) honored a Franklin, Tennessee, veterinarian at its annual conference.

Dr. Kathy Kunkel received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Private Practice. The award recognizes a UTCVM graduate who excels in at least one of five areas of veterinary medicine: private practice, teaching, research, public service or organized veterinary medicine.

After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University, Dr. Kunkel received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UTCVM in 1989. Dr. Kunkel owns Little House Animal Hospital in the Grassland area of Franklin, Tennessee, and throughout her career has served her community, supported the veterinary profession and mentored future generations of veterinarians.

Megan McMurray Duggan, associate director of Alumni Relations and Development at the veterinary college, says Dr. Kunkel serves as a wonderful ambassador. “Dr. Kunkel works so hard to assist both her alma mater and her community as a whole. She is incredibly selfless; we are so appreciative of all her efforts."

Dr. Kunkel is the founder of “Love on Wheels,” a not-for-profit organization that provides children taken into custody by the Department of Children’s Services in Middle Tennessee with wheeled luggage and basic toiletries as they are displaced from their homes. As an advisory council member for Williamson County, she has helped map out a 20-year plan for her community. Dr. Kunkel has also received the Red Cross Lifetime Service award for organizing quarterly blood drives for the past 20 years.

While serving on the Executive Board of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association as chair of Disaster Preparedness/Response, Dr. Kunkel submitted for a large grant that paid for a Disaster Symposium offered at the association’s annual convention. She also serves as a UTCVM Alumni Council member and is the veterinary college’s representative to the UT Alumni Association Advisory Board.

In addition to participating in an on-line mentoring program for high school girls interested in the sciences, Dr. Kunkel is an annual speaker for a lecture series at Nashville’s Science Adventure Center attended by Middle Tennessee high school girls interested in the sciences. Dr. Kunkel also finds time to regularly visit K-12 schools to talk about animal care, veterinary career opportunities and disaster preparedness and response.

One of 28 accredited veterinary colleges in the United States, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine educates students in the art and science of veterinary medicine and related biomedical sciences, promotes scientific research and enhances human and animal well-being.

In addition to the programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT AgResearch system of 10 research and education centers and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Dr. Kathy Kunkel, 615-791-9148

Sandra Harbison, UTCVM Media Relations, 865-974-7377,