Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Animal Instinct

September 13, 2023 by  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

Dr. Aaron Bivens was one of the world’s most cherished veterinarians, and his loss is deeply felt in the community of animal lovers and beyond.

Las Vegas recently lost one of the world’s most admired, respected, and impactful veterinarians. 

Dr. Aaron Bivens died July 30 from injuries sustained in a drowning accident at Lake Mead. Dr. Bivens was renowned for his phenomenal practice at South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital. He possessed extraordinary skill in caring for all animals — including exotic pets — but Dr. Bivens was widely known by many for his medical expertise with French bulldogs. 

Originally from Riverside, California, Dr. Bivens attended the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama, and was passionate about recruiting other young African-American vets to his hospital for their residency and to practice. He cared for animals around the world, and weaved his dedication to animals into our civic fabric by caring for the K-9 unit dogs who serve in local law enforcement. He had a joy for life — and when he wasn’t caring for animals, Dr. Bivens spent his days discovering new adventures and exploring new ways to connect with humanity. 

There was a candlelight vigil at South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital shortly after the public was notified of Dr. Bivens’ passing. Over 4,000 people gathered in the hospital’s parking lot, along with their pets, to remember Dr. Bivens and his extraordinary work. 

Las Vegas Black Image spoke with Dr. Bivens’ father, Tonnie Bivens, who shared these words about his son: “Our son Aaron Bivens loved being a vet since he was a child of 7 years of age, his love of animals led him to pursue his career as being the most cherished veterinarian in many parts of the world. He had a heart of gold and held his values of God, family and friends close to his heart. He had a heart of gold and a smile that could light up a room. He treated everyone he met with respect and dignity and would care for all animals as if they were his own.” 

Dr. Bivens was not only a pillar in the veterinary community, but also a cherished part of the Las Vegas family. Between his presence on Instagram (@drbiv, also known as the #frenchievet), fulfilling a passion for veterinary medicine daily at South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital, showing dedication to helping the community, and giving pure love for family and friends, Dr. Bivens left an amazing legacy. Among his many achievements and accolades: receiving the Tribute to African Americans Achievement Award presented by Commissioner Lawrence Weekly; membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., 100 Black Men Inc, and Team 5; participation in the Muhammad Ali Center Council of Students; and working as a reserve police officer in Rexburg, Idaho.

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