A Life of Extreme Sacrifice and Unwavering Principals:
In Honor and With Deep Gratitude, We Remember Sharon Willoughby-Blake, DVM, DC
“We will bear the burdens of the pioneer so that the path will be clearer and straighter for those that follow. We know that the foundations we create will influence animal chiropractic care for the generations of animals and humans to come.”
Dr. Willoughby grew up in Michigan, where she attended Michigan State University, sharongraduating with a Bachelor of Science and as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1970. She worked in a private mixed-animal practice in Michigan for thirteen years. In 1983, her growing interest in animal chiropractic led her to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. She graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 1986.
Dr. Willoughby taught classes at Palmer College of Chiropractic in the School of Chiropractic Technology from 1986 to 1989. She taught Anatomy/Physiology, Physical Examination and Neurological Examination. In 1988 she became the Interim Director for the School of Chiropractic Technology. During this time she also practiced in an exclusive animal chiropractic practice. In 1989 she decided to pursue private practice in animal chiropractic fulltime.
Dr. Sharon and a small group of her colleagues founded the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) in 1989. This was the first school of its kind, anywhere in the world. In 2000, she relinquished the AVCA to its current Board of Directors and renamed her school Options for Animals. It remains today, and is currently Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic. Shortly after, she sold the school to four of its long time Board Members and instructors. Three of them own the school today and have developed its curriculum to the present day standards. Options for Animals has always been the gold standard for animal chiropractic education.
Dr. Willoughby authored Equine Chiropractic Care 1989, Sacropelvic Adjusting text 1992, Thoracolumbar Adjusting text 1992, Cervical Adjusting text 1992, and Extremity Adjusting text 1991. She co-authored a book, Healing Your Horse (MacMillan Press) 1993. She also contributed the chapter on chiropractic for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (Mosby) 1998.
Dr. Willoughby passed away in the fall of 2010. She left her husband, Truman Blake and her son, Jason Jakubas. She has left a big hole in the world of animal chiropractic. We will miss her, and we thank her deeply for the contributions she gave us and the animal community that benefits from the gift of chiropractic.