Dr. Otto, a member of the Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 from 1994 to 2010, began monitoring the health and behavior of Urban Search and Rescue canines in October of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. This work inspired her to establish the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.
She has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals, authored over 10 book chapters and lectured nationally and internationally on Emergency Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Working Dogs.
Her research program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery, Morris Animal Foundation and other foundations.
She has also been involved in disaster medicine as a member of the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team – 2 since 1999.
Dr. Otto is board-certified in both veterinary emergency and critical care and veterinary sports medicine. She is a tenured associate professor of Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and was named Pennsylvania’s 2002 “Veterinarian of the Year” and received an Alumni Recognition Award in 2006 and the OSU Distinguished Alumus Award in 2008 from the Ohio State University.
She is involved in dog sports (flyball, agility, and tricks), and also provides pet therapy in the Philadelphia area, with her rescued Bichon mix, Dolce.
USAR Veterinary Group – 2007 – present
Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team Board 2010-present
US Special Operations Command Committee on Canine Tactical-Combat Casualty Care 2010 – 2012
Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthoganol Detector Guidelines 2011-2014
NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Dogs and Sensors Subgroup 2014-present
Advisory Committee for The Center for Animal and Human Relationships (CENTAUR) VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 2012-present
Search Dog Foundation Canine Veterinary Working Group 2012-present
Hand2Paw – Board member 2012-present