Ottawa has lost a true icon with the death of William H. “Doc” Hay. Doc’s knowledge, skill and sound advice made him the superior veterinarian that he was.

As a lifelong animal rescuer and caretaker, I know a few things about great veterinarians, and Doc was one of the greatest I have ever known. In addition, he was a wonderful friend, not only to his patients, but also to his human friends, including me. His quick wit and his fun-loving nature made him a joy to be around.

Most of all, I appreciated his kind and caring treatment of many of my pets, as well as all of the animals I rescued, some of which also became mine. The expertise he incorporated into that treatment was unfailingly evident. Doc knew it was not only people who mattered.

I am deeply saddened by his death, and like many others, I will miss him greatly.

— Nancy Bennett,