Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, director of well-being studies

Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, has been the director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society since 2007. In that role, he studies the quality of life and the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have endured hardship, adversity and psychological trauma. 

While at Best Friends, Dr. McMillan has published in scientific journals the first studies of dogs rescued from puppy mills, hoarding situations and abusive environments. In addition, he has published the most extensive reports of the psychological health of puppies born in puppy mills and sold through pet stores or over the internet. Two goals of all of these studies are to better understand the effects of trauma on animals and to develop new therapies to restore to them a life of enjoyment rather than having a life filled with fear and emotional distress. Another goal is to provide the science to support better legislation to protect animals and improvements in the way animals are treated around the world.

Before coming to Best Friends, Dr. McMillan was in private practice for 23 years as well as clinical professor of medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. He is board-certified in the veterinary specialties of small-animal internal medicine and animal welfare. He lectures worldwide and is the author of the textbook Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals and a book for the general public titled Unlocking the Animal Mind.