AVMA VMAT FAQ for States


The American Veterinary Medical Association's Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT) program is a private non-governmental program funded by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) which serves as a veterinary response resource for states.


States may request one of three offerings:

1. Early Assessment Teams

4-6 person assessment teams of veterinarians and veterinary technicians for 72 hours boots on the ground.

2. Basic Treatment Teams

4-6 person basic treatment teams of veterinarians for 5 days boots on the ground. 

3. Training (VMAT U)

Training on a wide range of emergency preparedness and response topics provided to state veterinary associations, veterinary professionals, veterinary colleges and other related organizations.


AVMA VMAT is available as a resource for states to support state and local response efforts by filling gaps or providing surge capacity. VMAT is not meant to replace state and local response teams.


While many states have developed veterinary and animal response teams, gaps remain.

Early assessment teams may be used as a resource by the state to assess infrastructure and to help determine how to deploy assets in a response.

Basic treatment teams may be used as surge capacity for state response teams or to fill gaps by providing basic veterinary care at state run animal disaster operations.

Utilizing the VMAT's twenty plus years of emergency preparedness and response experience, including deployments to the World Trade Center and the hurricanes of 2005, VMAT provides training to veterinary response organizations, veterinary medical associations, veterinary schools and other related groups through VMAT U. Team members have first-hand response knowledge and have received extensive training in preparedness and response. In addition, several team members are board certified specialists and many members have extensive training and experience in areas such as safety, administration, mental health, and logistics.

Who Pays?

AVMA VMAT members are volunteers and do not receive a salary. For more than 20 years, the VMAT program was supported through generous funding from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). In 2016, the AVMA is providing support for the VMAT program.


Before a VMAT team can be deployed to a disaster response, a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AVMA and the state animal health authority must be on file with the AVMA.


Additional information about the AVMA VMAT program can be found at avma.org/vmat or e-mail avmavmat@avma.org.