Remembering An Animal Industry Pioneer & Her Husband

Contributed by Jillyan Webb

COMMUNITY - Remembering An Animal Industry Pioneer & Her Husband (Horse Skeleton).jpg

Blake/Willoughby Online Estate Auction
May 16-31, 2018
Webb Auction
Prices Vary

Open House Preview Day of the Estate
5/26/2018 – 10AM
5/29/2018 – 4PM
Webb Auction

When the community was asked to remember Dr. Sharon Willouhgby-Blake and her husband, Truman, who made Palmer their final home, the response was overwhelming. Words like compassion, pioneer, amazing intuition, once in a lifetime friends, healing gift, caring, compassion and wisdom are repeated over and over. Our community mourned the passing of Dr. Sharon Willoughby-Blake in 2010 and now mourns the passing of her husband, Truman Blake, but it gives us a chance to remember this wonderful couple once again.

Dr. Willoughby-Blake, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, is the pioneer and founder of modern-day animal chiropractic and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

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”.

The Blakes, with other partners, built a state-of-the-art indoor equine facility in the Mat-Su Valley. Sindorff Riding Center in Palmer is a staple in the horse show community that now houses some of Alaska’s top equine talent and trainers today.

None of this could have been done without the steadfast support of Dr. Sharon Willoughby-Blake’s husband, Truman Blake. Truman graduated from New Hartford High School and entered the U.S. Navy and then transitioned to the U.S. Air Force, where he served the remainder of his career. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran who served with distinction. He honorably retired from the military and went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in Alaska until retirement.

Truman married the love of his life, Dr. Sharon Willoughby-Blake, DVM, DC, and spent wedded bliss building their dream house, enjoying their animals and living his dream in Alaska. Truman Blake followed his loving wife peacefully passing on March 29, 2018 at his home in Palmer, Alaska.

Their personal property estate will be open to the public for bidding online from May 16th-May 31st with Open House Preview Day of the Estate on Saturday, May 26th and the evening of May 29th to view items in person. The over 600-lot estate features an incredible collection of one of a kind items including rare antique furniture, jewelry, Alaska art and artifacts, collectables, miniature doll houses, craft and woodworking items, antique veterinary books dating back to 1860 and other antique veterinary items, museum-quality horse, dog and cat skeleton, tools, vehicles and more. 

To find out more about the auction and view the catalog of items, visit or call 907-232-0602/907-355-2561.

Some of the excerpts from this article were taken from other publications. You can read the full text and learn more about the Animal Chiropractic Industry by visiting and