Pacific International Genetics is a veterinary practice devoted exclusively to animal reproduction. Founded in 1988 by Dr. Paul Mennick, three years after graduating from UC Davis Veterinary School, the practice is dedicated to providing the very best possible fertility services to a wide range of domestic animals. The 72 acre facility was designed to accommodate the rigorous quarantine regulations required to export semen and embryos to EEU, Australia and New Zealand. With more than thirty years of experience in ten countries, Dr. Mennick has learned much from other specialists in the performance of many specialized procedures. Primary species attended to are horses, dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and swine, but he has even been involved in developing semen freezing extenders and techniques for the endangered white rhinoceros.
Paul began his pre-veterinary experience in high school working on an Arabian horse breeding farm. In college he spent a total of 13 months in the White Mountains on the California / Nevada border, studying wild horses, which led to a patent for a flexible horseshoe that allowed natural flexion of the hoof. By the time he had finished veterinary school in 1985, he had worked for two larger breeding farms in Oregon and southern California. Upon graduation, he became the resident veterinarian for Nevele R Stud in New Zealand, at that time the largest horse breeding farm in Australasia, where he was responsible for the breeding of 612 mares. This began three years of back-to-back breeding seasons between various practices in California and Nevele R stud, with a third season at a six-doctor practice in Australia’s Hunter Valley.
It was in Australia and New Zealand that Dr. Mennick took the opportunity to visit and work with local experts involved in new techniques with other species, notably Dr. Greg McCann, one of the founders of the laparoscopic AI technique in sheep. Paul also visited several major centers in Australia and New Zealand involved in bovine embryo transfer and bull semen freezing, noting differences in laboratory setup, processing technique, plus handling, fencing, and housing innovations. One of those centers had, by demand, begun collecting and freezing a few dogs, which introduced Paul to the “small animal” side of theriogenology. In 1987, he began freezing stallion semen on a commercial basis back in California, and for seven years spent two months each winter freezing stallions near San Diego and up in Arlington, Washington. For those same seven years, he was also the only practitioner in the western United States performing laparoscopic AI in sheep. To this day he continues to carry out his own “in-house” research on semen extenders, which has led to many original extender recipes and processing techniques over the years. These developments have been reported by him at a number of Theriogenology annual meetings, global conferences, regional veterinary meetings, and in his private training courses.
“PIG” currently has several hundred sires in cryogenic storage, clients in 24 countries, and is the sole North American distributor for some of the finest Warmblood sires in Europe. Dr. Mennick has provided consultation or hands-on training Internationally for the Government of Jamaica, University of Puerto Rico, the Department of Agriculture on Mindanao in the Philippines, James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, the Tasmanian Harness Racing Council, the Medical College of Ohio, Oregon State University School of Veterinary Medicine at Corvallis, Hamilton-Thorne Research on various aspects of their new IVOS sperm-motility analyzer, an SBIR grant project which imported 750 cashmere goat embryos into the United States. He has frozen semen from multiple Olympic champions, the twice national champion Andalusian stallion of Spain, and solved breeding shed problems of syndicated Thoroughbred stallions in Australia. Practice “firsts” include the first-ever United States export of frozen horse semen to Sri Lanka, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines; the first United States export of frozen jack semen to the UK, import of chilled cattle dog semen by air from Australia, and the first ever Senepol cattle genetics into Thailand via embryos from his own herd. In 2004, P.I.G. stood “Albert Albert”, at that time the 11th ranked Standardbred sire in the world, under quarantine for chilled semen shipping by overnight air three days per week to a book of over 170 mares in Australia and New Zealand. For three months another winter, Dr. Mennick operated Oasis Genetics in Hermiston, Oregon, collecting and freezing bull semen while the facility was going through an ownership transition.
The practice usually hosts one or two veterinary students each year from around the world as part of their clinical education, and provides worldwide consultation on request. Paul has donated his time and services to less developed parts of the world, including animalsfiji.org, where he visited four islands over a week to examine and treat local livestock and horses, and also to cattle breeding operations in Thailand. As an active member of the Society for Theriogenology for more than 30 years, he has served on their Board of Directors and now serves on their Advisory Board. One of the Foundation’s recently funded projects, the “Working Dog Project”, is a collaboration between the Theriogenology Foundation, Harvard University, and the Broad Institute at MIT. This genomic research is aimed at pinpointing the genetics of certain inherited dog behaviors, to allow breeders a better means for reliably selecting animals for breeding particular behavioral traits. This will ultimately benefit breeders of many breeds, whether they be hunting dogs, search and rescue, seeing-eye, or police and military dogs. Further information on this project is available at www.workingdogproject.org
Inquiries are always welcome and replied to as promptly as possible. Email is greatly preferred, given that Dr. Mennick may be overseas at the time, so if you do telephone, be prepared to leave a voice message and your email address. Your message is converted to a WAV file and emailed to him wherever he may be, and it is common that he can only respond by email. Also be aware that Paul does NOT text. It seems that the phone always rings when your hands are full!
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