Many organizations were actively involved in saving and caring for animals hurt or displaced by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma this past year. As a result, thousands of animals were helped. But not everything went well.
In an effort to coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national disaster plan for animals, the AVMA is hosting the National Animal Disaster Summit for organizations that have been, or may become, involved in the response or recovery phase of a major disaster affecting animals. The summit will be held May 5-6 in Arlington, Va.
The objectives are to identify private organizations and governmental agencies that played a major role in the 2005 hurricane animal relief efforts, bring those organizations together to identify the lessons learned, and develop a relief plan for animals for use in future natural disasters, to overcome the obstacles identified and improve overall results.
Invited participants will include, among others, representatives from a number of organizations, such as the departments of Homeland Security and Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency, various humane organizations active in the hurricane response, state law enforcement and emergency management agencies, and schools/colleges of veterinary medicine in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. One member from each of the four AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams will also be invited.
Following the summit, a summary report will be submitted to the AVMA Executive Board and for publication in the JAVMA.