MSU to host Hollywood veterinarian for lecture on Thursday

Dr. James Peddie has treated some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and is coming to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to share his stories.

As veterinarians, Peddie and his wife, Dr. Linda Peddie, have cared for and treated animals on many major motion picture sets, including “Water for Elephants” and “Dances with Wolves.” Dr. James Peddie will speak on Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wise Center’s large auditorium as part of the MSU-CVM and Nestle Purina Human-Animal Bond lecture series. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Peddie and his wife graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1965. He served in the Army before moving to California and joining a practice in Thousand Oaks. Down the street from the practice was a wildlife importer, giving Peddie experience in caring for exotic animals, such as tigers and baby Asian elephants. After leaving the practice, Peddie taught at Moorpark College in the Exotic Animal Training and Management program, and in 1991 he became the program’s director.

“I had no sooner accepted that job when I got a call from Universal Studios. I had cared for animals in the theme park, and I took on the work of caring for all their animals,” Peddie said. “Within months, my wife and I were contacted by all of the major studios. We ended up working on a total of 70 feature films.”

Peddie still cares for Asian elephants at a California wildlife sanctuary and spends a lot of time on the road sharing his behind-the-scenes stories. From his early days at Cornell to working on movie sets, Peddie has always appreciated the bond between humans and animals and will speak on a more serious note to explain his current concerns during his Human-Animal Bond lecture.

“One should never underestimate where work with animals can take you,” Peddie said. “I can say that it’s just been a fascinating life.”

For more information on Peddie’s presentation, contact Melissa Montgomery at 662-325-5170 or Karen Templeton at 662-325-1100.

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