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University Attending Veterinarian

Dr. Marnie Metzler, DVM serves as NC State’s interim University Attending Veterinarian. The University Attending Veterinarian, in collaboration with the Institutional Official and the IACUC, is responsible for NC State’s animal care and use program. This program conforms to current veterinary medical standards, as well as applicable federal regulations and standards.

Roles and Responsibilities

The University Attending Veterinarian is responsible for the well-being and clinical care of animals used in research, testing, teaching and production. This responsibility extends to monitoring and promoting animal well-being at all times during animal use, and during all phases of the animal’s life. It’s expected that the program of veterinary care will uphold the highest standards of care and ethics. There must be timely provision of veterinary medical care, and emergency veterinary care must be available at all times, including after work hours and on weekends and holidays.

The goal, broadly stated, is to:

  • Support animal research — the scientific study of animals for the purpose of gaining new biological knowledge or solving specific medical, veterinary medical, agricultural, dental, or biological problems; and
  • Advocate for animals — through the application of veterinary medicine and animal science. This includes the acquisition of research animals, their management, nutrition, breeding, disease treatment, and mitigation of pain and distress.

The Attending Veterinarian has authority, delegated by the institution, to treat animals and institute appropriate measures to relieve pain and distress. In fulfilling these duties in a research environment, the Attending Vet interacts collaboratively with the research team (i.e., the principal investigators and facility managers) when making critical decisions regarding animal health and welfare.

Role of the IACUC

  • There is regular communication between the University Attending Veterinarian and the IACUC. The Attending Vet regularly and clearly communicates animal care and use program needs to the Institutional Official.
  • As a voting member of the IACUC, the Attending Vet provides input during protocol review, including the development of study removal criteria and the responsible conduct of research activities.
  • The IACUC, in association with the Attending Vet, has the responsibility for determining that personnel performing surgical procedures are appropriately qualified and trained in the procedures to be performed.

To learn more about the importance of attending veterinarians, visit this USDA page or read AAALAC’s position statement.


The University Attending Veterinarian must have access to all animals, visiting the facilities as often as needed to ensure animals are receiving adequate care. Visits occur at least annually for USDA-covered facilities with dogs.

  • For noncentralized NC State locations (e.g., teaching units, aquaculture and agriculture facilities), there must be a designated person who is responsible for daily animal care and use and facility management.

The Attending Vet maintains a record of all veterinarians who oversee animals on campus. The Attending Vet should be made aware of any outside veterinarians who provide care at campus units.

The Attending Vet has oversight of aspects of the veterinary care program such as preventative medicine and health surveillance; medical treatment; the establishment of sedation, anesthetic and analgesic guidelines; handling; and immobilization — and has oversight of other related aspects, such as housing and husbandry.

  • Every unit must have SOPs that have been reviewed and approved by the University Attending Veterinarian.
  • The Attending Vet should provide guidance and oversight to surgery programs and perioperative care.


The University Attending Veterinarian has direct authority from NC State University and is the regulatory authority that oversees all veterinary care for all research and teaching animals under NC State jurisdiction. This authority can be delegated to the named Primary Site Veterinarian (PSV). Animal Unit Facility Managers are expected to collaborate with the PSV to facilitate regulatory compliance and ensure animal health, well-being, and the provisions of the animal care program are met. 

Clinical Animal Health Reporting

This report must be submitted to the University Attending Veterinarian within 72 hours each time new diagnostic and/or therapeutic measures are begun for a research or teaching animal. 

This report form should be used to document unexpected deaths, chronic or ongoing medical or biosecurity issues.

An incident is any animal health occurrence that requires communication with a veterinarian (in-person or remotely) or the use of a veterinary-written and -approved SOP to maintain the health or welfare of the animals.

Meet the University Attending Veterinarian

Dr. Marnie Metzler, DVM, Ph.D., DACLAM currently serves as NC State’s University Attending Veterinarian in an interim capacity, effective Dec. 20, 2021. As University Attending Veterinarian, Dr. George consults with investigators on the planning and implementation of animal activities — serving as a voting member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

Dr. Metzler works with Primary Site Veterinarians across campus to coordinate the clinical, surgical and preventative care of the university’s animal resources in accordance with current veterinary medical standards, as well as applicable federal regulations and standards.

Dr. Metzler joined NC State as a clinical veterinarian in the College of Veterinary Medicine in September 2021. Prior to joining NC State, she served as the staff veterinarian at Charles River Laboratories Discovery Research Services – Oncology in Morrisville. Before that, she served four and a half years as the attending veterinarian/veterinary program manager at Atrium Health in Charlotte, as an employee of the Charles River Laboratories Insourcing Solutions division.

Dr. Metzler is a graduate of the University of Florida and received a DVM from NC State University in 2012. Dr. Metzler also has a Ph.D. in Integrated Physiology/Pharmacology, from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and is an adjunct faculty member within the NC State’s Department of Pathology – Section on Comparative Medicine. She is boarded by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Latest Guidance

AAALAC International has reviewed the Fourth (4th) Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (Ag Guide), American Dairy Science Association®, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Poultry Science Association 2020. The 4th Edition has been adopted, with clarifications, as a primary standard, replacing the 3rd Edition.