Lions, Tigers & Bears! Oh SMILE!

Rylee Nicoletti, Master of Marketing

Braces on cats? Cavities in monkeys? Yes, these are all real situations that Peter Emily, DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery), has dealt with in his career. On September 25th, Dr. Emily came into our school to share his experiences with curious students. His presentation included detailed pictures and his narrations of his life accomplishments. There was so much content in his presentation and to make it even better, I got a one on one talk time with Dr. Emily!

Dr. Peter Emily has been practicing his profession for over 50 years! Peter started out as a dentist for humans. Then, when judging for a dog show, he realized the need for doctors in the animal dentistry industry was much greater. A desperate contestant in need of dental care for her dog confronted Dr. Emily, but at the time there was no degree or advanced teaching for Animal Dentistry. Peter was inspired and took his dentistry career to the next level.

Doctor Emily expanded the industry beyond cleanings and extractions. “I could say I started vet dentistry in the United States and even the world.” Colorado University was the first college to offer a veterinary dentistry program – ever! He and three other vets developed the first ever entrance exam into the college of vet dentistry. This same acceptance exam is still used today. For this accomplishment, he was awarded a custom gold medal for his Research and Education Award through the AVDS. Even after 5o years, he still is practicing his dentistry through the Peter Emily Foundation.

All his contemporary work is done for free. He has poured all his retirement into this foundation and keeps it practicing through donations. Most of his work is done in sanctuaries across the world and sometimes even in the wild! Peter has traveled all over the world to treat his patients including Europe, South America, Japan, China, Australia, and Antarctica. His work in all of these countries is world renown and Peter has even worked on world-famous animals. Have you ever witnessed the great whales of Sea World or the movie Secretariat? Peter has worked on all of these animals! Even after treating these “VIP” patients, he always answers “who is your favorite animal to work on?” with “the jaguar.” All of his favorite cases have involved jaguars. One of them, as he described to me, was a great sight to see. The jaguar had swum into the river and attacked an alligator. He actually defeated the alligator with great pride. These are the cases and experiences which make Dr. Peter enjoy his job. His goal is to help the ones who can’t speak for themselves and that is what he is accomplishing today.

Peter Emily has inspired so many people and programs throughout his years of practice. He has had a great career, life experience, and memories that he will never forget. If you would like to donate or find out more about Peter Emily and his accomplishments visit, Talking to him was inspiring and I encourage everyone to take the time and read about this amazing man and his journey.