Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Dorothy Pelanda today announced Dr. Dennis Summers as Chief of the Division of Animal Health, which is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio’s livestock and poultry industries. In that capacity, he serves as Ohio’s State Veterinarian and oversees all operations for the division.
Dr. Summers first joined ODA in 2014 as a field veterinarian for the Division of Meat Inspection, then was transferred to ODA’s Division of Animal Health in the same capacity in 2015. He was appointed to the position of Assistant State Veterinarian in 2018 and then Interim State Veterinarian in 2021.
Prior to his service at ODA, Dr. Summers was a private practitioner in Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. His areas of practice focused on large animal medicine and surgery, mainly dairy, equine, and beef, but also some small ruminants and exotics.
Dr. Summers was born and raised in Muskingum County. He attended The Ohio State University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Animal Sciences, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 2001. He completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine studies at OSU, earning his DVM degree in 2006.
In 2019, Dr. Summers successfully passed the board-certification examinations from the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM). This earned him the status of Diplomate from the ACVPM. ACVPM is a specialty discipline in veterinary preventive medicine.
He also serves as a captain in the United States Army Reserve as an army medical officer. Dr. Summers and his wife, Angela, have three children.
Dr. Kristy Shaw will serve as Assistant State Veterinarian. Dr. Shaw will support all functions of Ohio’s State Veterinarian and maintain her role as Emergency Preparedness and Disease Programs Coordinator to ensure the health and safety of Ohio’s livestock interests.