Louisiana veterinarians are rebuilding clinics and homes with grants and loans through the state veterinary foundation.
The Dr. Walter J. Ernst Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation, which the Louisiana VMA established in 1986, received thousands of contributions in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The contributions allowed the WJE Foundation to support relief efforts for animals, veterinarians, and veterinary staff after the storms. The foundation also has supported continuing rebuilding efforts and preparations for future disasters.
As of early fall, the WJE Foundation had awarded almost $500,000 in grants and guaranteed almost $200,000 in loans. The foundation also had spent more than $400,000 on relief and disaster planning, training, and exercises.
One of the purposes of the WJE Foundation is to combat community deterioration after disasters. The foundation continues to support Louisiana veterinarians and veterinary staff who are rebuilding, particularly if they intend to help re-establish or continue veterinary service in an area.