May 01, 2008


 Grants aid veterinarians affected by tornadoes

Posted April 15, 2008

After tornadoes ripped through Tennessee earlier this year, several veterinarians affected by the disaster were awarded grants through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Dr. Lorraine E. Purchis' clinic
Dr. Lorraine E. Purchis' clinic

The Foundation provides relief grants of up to $2,000 and, for disasters occurring after Feb. 3, 2008, animal care reimbursement grants of up to $5,000. Both grants are made possible through the Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund. Veterinarians directly involved in disasters may apply for the grants up to nine months after the date of the disaster.

Dr. Lorraine E. Purchis took the opportunity to apply for a relief grant after the clinic she owned in Lafayette for 13 years was wrecked.

"It's kind of odd what was destroyed and what wasn't," she said when describing the damage.

While the tornado ruined much of the clinic's structure, a few priceless contents inside remained unscathed. All six dogs boarded at the clinic and all but three fish housed in the front room's 135-gallon tank survived.

Dr. Purchis received $2,000 from the ADRR Fund and immediately put it toward refurbishing her equipment.

She is eager to get back into business and, as of early April, was well on her way to opening a temporary clinic in a few trailers. Meanwhile, her permanent clinic is being rebuilt, which she expects will take six to eight months.

Dr. Nathaniel P. Wright, an associate veterinarian at the Tennessee Equine Hospital in Thompson's Station, was the recipient of an animal care reimbursement grant.

After tornadoes struck the area, Dr. Wright was called out to care for a horse that was punctured by a tree branch. He said the grant helped cover the medical costs for treating the animal.