Your donations are making a positive impact in Australia

Published on February 13, 2020
Flames from wildfires tinge the sky orange behind houses on a bluff in Australia

The need is still great—You can help

To all who have donated to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to help our Australian colleagues facing wildfires, we thank you sincerely. Your gifts are having a real and lasting impact on the people and animals affected by the fires.

More than $125,000 already has been raised through the AVMA and AVMF for Australian wildfire relief, and VCA Charities has committed to match up to $50,000 more in new donations—which could bring the grand total to more than $225,000. You can help achieve this new goal by donating at avmf.org/Donate and applying your donation to the AVA Benevolent Fund.

Australian veterinarians tell us in conversations and emails that they’re immensely grateful for the outpouring of generosity and want you to know how the donations are helping.

How our donations are being used

Dr. Julia Crawford, president of the Australian Veterinary Association
Dr. Julia Crawford, president of the Australian Veterinary Association

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Benevolent Fund—the recipient of these donations—offers relief for veterinarians and veterinary practices who have suffered in the disaster. This includes those who have lost property or had to close their businesses, as well as clinics fortunate enough to still be operating and able to help the injured animals.

“We are focusing on the practices in the communities most seriously impacted,” said Dr. Julia Crawford, president of the AVA. “Those practices are suffering, and we want to support them as they do triage and treatment, to look after native species that are coming in.”

Many of the animals have burns on their feet and toes. Any endangered species, including koalas, go to specialist hospitals after being triaged, Crawford said.

Some veterinarians have lost their properties and source of income, and many others have been impacted indirectly by legislated road closures, power outages, and the like.

“Access difficulties delayed gaining a full understanding of the extent of our colleagues’ losses, but that is changing,” said Dr. Randall Lemin, secretary and trustee of the AVA Benevolent Fund. AVA staff have been triaging calls from members, with the trustees intent on providing immediate financial assistance to those most seriously impacted. According to Dr. Lemin, all priority cases have been contacted personally by trustees to assure victims they are not alone in their battle to regain normality.

The donations coming from the United States through the AVMF have enabled the AVA Benevolent Fund to “expand our assistance packages immeasurably, and we cannot thank you enough for that,” said Lemin.

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