Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams Program Fact Sheet

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).

AVMA VMAT Mission:

The AVMA's Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) serve as first responders to ensure high-quality care of animals during disasters and other emergencies. When requested by a state, VMATs provide operational emergency response programs to state animal health authorities and preparedness programs to state animal health authorities, veterinary medical associations, and other relevant organizations.   

VMAT Functions:

  1. Early Assessment Teams
    4-6 person teams, self sufficient and available upon request from the appropriate state authority. Deployments of 72 hours, not including travel time, are funded by the AVMF. Teams will focus on assessing veterinary conditions & infrastructure, and gather verifiable data to enable state deployment of appropriate state resources.
  2. Basic Treatment Teams
    4-6 person teams, self sufficient and available upon request by the appropriate state authority. Deployments of 5 days, not including travel time, are funded by the AVMF. Teams provide primary field care to augment overwhelmed local capabilities, which could include establishment of a base-of-operations as a field staging area for state-based veterinary triage and veterinary medical care of displaced animals.
  3. Training (VMAT U)
    Provide emergency-related training to state veterinary associations, professionals and colleges. Topics for lectures or training courses include: animal decontamination, disaster veterinary medicine and triage, hazmat awareness for veterinarians, critical incident stress management, leadership, risk communication, occupational safety.

Requesting VMAT Services

VMAT is a state-level resource. In a disaster and following a request from the appropriate state authority, VMAT teams deploy to assist with early assessment or disaster veterinary care. In order to request VMAT assistance the state must have a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the AVMA.