August 01, 2013


 Disaster preparedness sessions funded by AVMF

Posted July 17, 2013​ 

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has awarded its 2013 Disaster Training Grants to four organizations.

The Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition received $5,000 to put on a two-day workshop in March 2014 in Provo that will reach not only veterinary professionals but also first responders and city and county planners.

Sessions will focus on lessons that can be learned from experience. All the Utah EARC courses stress the importance of having a relationship with local veterinarians.

Continuing education classes for veterinary professionals will focus on unique hazards that might be encountered during disasters or posed for those in specific areas of practice. 

The California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps hosted disaster training sessions recently, thanks in part to funding by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. (Courtesy of California VMA​)

The California Veterinary Medical Foundation received $8,500 to help fund two training sessions.

The first, held this past March at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, was meant to better train veterinarian volunteers in the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps on how to set up and run a shelter for companion animals during a disaster or emergency.

The event touched on topics such as identifying viable locations for emergency animal shelters and setting them up, identifying animals and keeping records, safety and security concerns, and legal and liability issues.

The second session was held June 21 in Long Beach and focused on veterinary triage during disasters. The courses helped veterinarians to better serve animals by going through common disaster-related injuries and ailments such as burns, smoke inhalation, toxicosis, stress-related conditions such as enteritis, and skin problems from floodwaters, to name a few. In turn, attendees learned what they can do to stabilize animals in a disaster setting.

The New York State Veterinary Medical Society will use its $5,000 AVMF grant toward a training session during the annual NYS Veterinary Conference, to be held Oct. 3-6 at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

It has been more than 10 years since the NYSVMS has offered any courses on emergency preparedness.

“Almost all the veterinary employees we assisted during (hurricanes Irene and Sandy) admitted to having almost no plans in place to execute decisions when a disaster occurred. Countless others told us that because of these two storms, even though their practice was not affected, they have begun to understand the importance of having a plan in place,” according to the NYSVMS application.

Those involved in coordinating the rescue and recovery efforts from the previous incidents will share their insights.

Ohio Disaster Search Dogs received $5,000 from the AVMF toward a two-day conference it will help host this September in Dayton. The organization will partner with the Penn Vet Working Dog Center of Philadelphia and Wright State University National Center for Medical Readiness of Fairborn, Ohio, to host a Working Dog Critical Care Clinic for these highly specialized local, state, and federal working dog teams and those who may have to treat them in the field.

“Many dogs place heavy demands on their musculoskeletal system,” according to the application. “Just as professional athletes regularly work with trainers and sports medicine professionals, working canines susceptible to the same types of stresses should also condition to protect against injury. Dr. Cindy Otto will discuss the different strengthening and conditioning options available to handlers to maintain an injury free, mission ready partner.”

For more information about the AVMF’s contributions and outreach toward disaster relief and preparedness, visit the Foundation’s website.