August 6, 2019 (published)

VIN News Service

Frequently asked questions


What is the VIN News Service's relationship with VIN? Are you its public-relations arm?

The Veterinary Information Network is an international online membership community for the profession founded in 1991. VIN added a news service in 2008 to investigate and communicate news of interest and importance for and about veterinarians and their patients, and to amplify in the public arena the voices of veterinarians working in the trenches.

The purpose of the VIN News Service is not to provide public relations for VIN. The news service operates cooperatively with but independently from other VIN departments. Consideration of stories about VIN projects are judged by the same news criteria as story ideas from any other source.


What is the role of VIN co-founder and president Dr. Paul Pion?

Paul works closely with the VIN News Service, offering perspective, serving as a sounding board and suggesting story ideas. Anyone who knows Paul knows he has a wealth of knowledge and is not shy about giving his opinion. If he thinks a topic is important, he will say so. However, Paul does not dictate story coverage or story approaches. Those decisions are made by VIN News editors.


VIN's motto is "for veterinarians, by veterinarians." Are you veterinarians? Why are VIN News stories published publicly?

Most members of the VIN News reporting team are not veterinarians. We are writers and journalists by training and experience. See Meet the news team for details.

VIN News stories are published publicly because part of our mission is to share veterinarians' perspectives with the public.


I have something to say about a story. Where can I post a comment?

VIN members can comment on stories in members-only discussion boards on We do not host public reader-comment sections. These require a moderator to ensure that the discourse remains relevant and civil. We lack the staff to provide the necessary moderating. We do accept letters to the editor. See our letters policy here.


How are VIN message boards used by the VIN News Service?

As VIN employees, the VIN News team has access to message boards. One of our jobs is to help answer factual questions posted by members. We also read message boards to learn what concerns and interests veterinarians, to aid our understanding of issues that are important to veterinarians, and to educate ourselves on the wide range of perspectives held by veterinarians. The message boards also are a valuable source of potential news topics.

Ever mindful that the message boards are confidential within the VIN community, we do not quote from any post, with or without the poster's name, without the writer's explicit permission. Occasionally, we might give a general characterization of views expressed on message boards without first contacting the discussants, but only if the description is not specific to any particular post(s).


I would like to advertise on VIN News. How do I go about that?

VIN News does not accept advertising. We are supported solely by the members of VIN (approximately 67,000 at last count). Like VIN, the news service is noncommercial. For that reason, we tend not to write stories about products and services unless there is a compelling news angle.


How do you decide what to cover?

Our team is small, so we have to be selective. There are always more good ideas than we are able to get to. We prioritize subjects that aren't well-covered by other media; topics that can benefit from veterinary perspectives; and issues that most concern veterinarians in private practice (who make up the majority of the veterinary community).


Do you accept articles from outside contributors? Will you link to my website or blog?

We regularly work with freelance journalists and will consider unsolicited articles from other writers for possible publication as commentaries. Because VIN News occupies a peculiar niche (veterinary news is not all about puppies and kittens), we encourage anyone wishing to contribute to contact us first to discuss the proposed topic and approach. Most of our commentary writers are veterinarians or people who work closely with the veterinary community. We link on our homepage to a select few blogs; we do not link to outside websites.


How do I contact you?

Reach us at


I would like to reprint a VIN News article or graphic. Do I need permission?

Thank you for asking! You can find our reprint policy here



VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email

Information and opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the author and are independent of the VIN News Service. Letters may be edited for style. We do not verify their content for accuracy.