Born at York, Nebraska, in 1878, Dr. Joseph C. Flynn was educated in the public schools and then entered Kansas City Veterinary College from which he received his D.V.S. degree in 1910. He married Gertrude (nee Sullivan) Flynn, in 1904, and had two daughters. He then established one of the first exclusively small animal hospitals in the country, became recognized as an authority in small animal medicine and surgery, and continued in this type of practice until 1940 when he retired; he resumed active work again in 1941 for two years while his successor was in military service.
He is the one member of his class to become president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He operated the first small animal ambulance and designed several small animal instruments now in general use. He constructed one of the first buildings especially designed for the hospitalization of dogs and cats in 1915. With Mrs. Flynn he traveled extensively and participated in clinics throughout the entire country at his own expense. For almost two years he did little else.
Early in his career and in order best to meet prevailing prices for spaying canines, he developed the technique for the operation which bears his name. It was referred to by the originator as the “sutureless spaying operation.” Dr. Flynn capitalized on his versatility in the early years of his work and, with the aid of Mrs. Flynn and others, he soon developed a large following in his practice. His influence was a determining factor in the development of many methods in the hospitalization of small animals and in their treatment. He was humane, sympathetic and painstaking. With these qualifications, fine sense of humor, he was held in high esteem by his clients and was equally impressive on veterinary programs.
He was president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1935 – 1936. He proposed the idea of a section on small animal practice within the AVMA along with the aid of Dr. L. A. Merillat. The first meeting of this section was held at Portland, Oregon, in 1925. During his term as AVMA president, Dr. Flynn was energetic in building up the membership and was instrumental in adding about 500 new members to the rolls. Both before and after his term, he was in demand for veterinary association meetings and gave freely of his time for their programs. Later, feeling that the interests of veterinary practitioners were not receiving enough attention, he helped to organize the American Society of Veterinary Therapy which attracted a sizeable membership for a time and held annual meetings for a few years. He also served as an associate editor of the North American Veterinarian for a time, contributing articles on small animal topics.
Dr. Joseph C. Flynn, aged 76, died of a heart attack at Kansas City, Missouri, on April 26, 1954. Surviving are his wife, Gertrude; two daughters, two sisters, one brother and six grandchildren. Dr. Flynn spent his entire professional life in Kansas City. He was active in St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church and the Holy Name Society there.
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