Meet Our Board: Bess Pierce

IWDA Board Member Dr. Bess J. Pierce DVM, DABVP, DACVIM, DACVSMR, has been selected to help launch a new clinical service program at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Health Center, where she is a Teaching Professor.

The college is in the process of building a state-of-the-art facility for the new Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Service. This service will focus on meeting the unique needs of athletic and working animals as well as all animals in need of rehabilitation therapy. 

The College of Veterinary Medicine hired Pierce, who most recently was at Lincoln Memorial University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn., to oversee the new service at the Columbia, Mo., school.

“Having Dr. Pierce join the CVM is an incredible opportunity,” said Bryan T. Torres, an assistant professor of small animal orthopedic surgery and director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory in a University release. “She is internationally known in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation, and she will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the CVM and VHC.

“Her clinical expertise and teaching experience will help advance and expand our treatment options as well as providing much needed training for the next generation of veterinarians graduating from Mizzou.”

Pierce was an Associate Professor at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine where she taught small animal internal medicine, sports medicine, and human animal bond subjects. She is particularly interested in the impact and utilization of animal assisted activities in military and law enforcement settings. Prior to her recent position at LMU, Dr. Pierce spent nine years at VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine, where she developed the Community Practice service in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, served as Director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR), and finished with a position in the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

Also serving more than 24 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps both in the active duty and reserve components, Dr. Pierce has been assigned worldwide including California, two tours in Japan and several years at the Military Working Dog Center in Texas. She is currently a colonel in the US Army Reserve, assigned to Public Health Command Europe located in Germany.

She has been a member of the IWDA Board since 2019.

By Jed Weisberger


IWDA members can learn more about Dr Pierce’s work in the IWDC Archives. Look for:

  • IWDC2021 – Hot topics in working dog care
  • IWDC2019 – Neuromotor development in puppies: implications for training and fitness
  • IWDC2017 – Infectious Disease Hazards for Deployed Working Dogs
  • IWDC2015 – Avoiding the surgeon – preventing stifle disease