Paul D. Pion DVM, DipACVIM (Cardiology)
Paul is co-founder, president and CEO of the Veterinary Information Network, Inc., and a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Paul's company is a pioneer in the field of information technology, providing veterinary professionals with online access to top consultants, searchable databases, continuing education in a variety of specialities, and the opportunity to share views and ideas with others in the profession. Paul has been awarded a Physician's Scientist Award by the National Institutes for Health, a Small Animal Research Award by Ralston Purina, National Phi Zeta Award for the one of the two most outstanding manuscripts in 1989, and a Special Recognition Award by the American Animal Hospital Association for innovations in the field of veterinary medicine.
Paul was graduated from the veterinary college at Cornell University, and has taught in the veterinary school at the University of California, Davis. While at UCD, he made an important research discovery that has touched the lives of every cat in the world: He proved that the deficiency of taurine in commercial cat food was causing heart disease in cats. His discovery was published as a cover article in SCIENCE, one of the most competitive and respected research journals, and more importantly lead to the reformulation of the world's cat foods and virtual eradication of a fatal heart disease that afflicted tens of thousands of cats annually in the late '80s.
Paul lives in Davis, Calif., with his wife, Carla, also a veterinarian, sons Luca and Joel, and a menagerie of pets, including his personal favorite, PC (for Prayer Cat), an uncommon tabby who sits up and prays for what she wants, a trait so endearing Paul says his wife fell in love with the cat first.
Gina has two loves in her life -- animals and writing. As former director of the VIN Pet Care Forum on America Online, the world's largest online area for animals, and with her award-winning columns and books, she has finally accomplished one of her life's goals -- a career writing about animals.
Pet Connection is an award-winning column on pets and their care written by Gina and Dr. Marty Becker that appears in newspapers across the United States through the Universal Press Syndicate.
Gina is the author of Dogs for Dummies and co-author (with VIN owner/founder Paul D. Pion, DVM, DACVIM) of Cats For Dummies, both from IDG Books Worldwide. Dogs for Dummies was named the Best General Reference book by the Dog Writers Association of America as well as the most outstanding writing on dogs in 1996. Cats For Dummies was named "Best Work on Feline Behavior," "Best Work on Feline Nutrition" and "Best Work on Responsible Cat Care" by the Cat Writers Association. Both books are top-sellers, offering nearly 400 pages of advice on choosing, raising, training, caring for and living with a pet. They've been translated into several languages.
Gina has also been a columnist and regular contributor to the AKC Gazette, the official magazine of the American Kennel Club, and she has written on pets for other magazines, including Modern Maturity. She has also been quoted in scores of newspaper and magazine articles, and appeared on TV and radio.
She has taught basic dog-obedience classes and competed in obedience trials with her own dogs. Gina has earned the esteem of trainers and other top-selling pet writers, all of whom have praised her breezy writing style and dogged pursuit of the facts. She also counts among her readers scores of veterinarians, many of whom use her articles in their practices to help educate their clients.
Gina has been active in efforts to help homeless pets, organizing and running a breed-rescue program in her community. She has served on the board of directors for both the Cat Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association of America, and served as contest chair of the DWAA writing contest in 1993. The DWAA has three times awarded her its Maxwell Medallion for Best Newspaper Column, and Pedigree dog food presented her with its Outstanding Journalist Pet Care Award in 1993. In 1995, she was honored with the Geraldine R. Dodge Award for an article promoting cooperation between shelters and breed-rescue groups. The Cat Writers Association has twice awarded her column a Certificate of Excellence.