M. Josephine Deubler, DVM

Pioneer and Paragon


On May 3, 2002 more than 100 friends gathered to celebrate the 85th birthday of Josephine Deubler, DVM, Ph.D. One of the highlights of the evening was the reading of comments attendees had penned describing their friend, Jo. Many of the words used to describe Dr. Deubler then are the same ones I heard in the numerous conversations I had with her friends and colleagues and have read in articles about this remarkable woman: amazing, unique, irreplaceable, sharp, special, dedicated, perfectionist, focused, distinguished, scintillating, illustrious, ambassador, motivating force, pioneer, inspiration, exemplary role model, example of true commitment. All of these are apt descriptions of this venerable and well-respected veterinarian, researcher, teacher, writer, breeder and judge.

Dr. Josephine Deubler, or Jo as she prefers to be called, was born into a family of veterinarians. Her father, Ernest C. Deubler, her uncle, her brother and two cousins were all vets, and Jo naturally followed in their footsteps. As a youngster Jo attended the Academy of Notre Dame and graduated from Friends Select School. She learned to play the harp in school, but her love of animals won out and she became involved in riding and horse shows.

Jo was exposed to animals from the day she was born. Ernest Deubler’s practice was limited strictly to cattle, and as a child Jo would sometimes accompany him on his rounds. Her family kept Airedales, Dachshunds, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blues, Smooth Fox Terriers and Coonhounds, although they were never shown. Her later interest in breeding might have stemmed from breeding and raising tropical fish as a child.

Jo was very involved with horses as a young person. She loved hunters and participated in horse shows and riding competitions through her early college years. Jo attended the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary College and graduated in 1938, with the distinction of being the first woman veterinarian to graduate from their vet school.

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