The AVMA Executive Board has allocated $500,000 in matching funds to solicit monetary donations for a fund established by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to go toward disaster relief efforts in the Gulf States ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Board members unanimously approved the half-a-million-dollar gift to the AVMF Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund, to come from reserves, during a special teleconference chaired by Dr. Robert "Bud" Hertzog on Sept. 7.
The board action initiated the immediate donation by the AVMA of $100,000 to encourage contributions from the veterinary community, public, and industry partners. Contributions to the fund exceeding $1 million will be used to aid in future disasters.
Days earlier, the AVMF Board of Directors set up the fund to help alleviate suffering in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida caused by Katrina. The fund will be used to cover costs associated with medical treatment for animals, animal care, AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams currently operating in storm-damaged areas, and the teams' supplies and equipment.
Following the vote, Dr. Hertzog commented, "It speaks well of the AVMA that the Executive Board unanimously supported this recommendation."
Donations to the fund should be designated for the "AVMF Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund." Send checks to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Department 20-1122, P.O. Box 5940, Carol Stream, IL 60197-5940; or donate online at www.avmf.org.