Supporting animal disaster preparedness, response

An evening of jazz, international cuisine benefits cause
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The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has set a national goal to ensure that animals are helped in times of disaster—be they natural or man-made. To accomplish this, the AVMF will continue and expand its support for the annual training and equipping of national Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams.

The AVMF will also begin funding to qualified states to support development of animal response plans, and assist with state-local resource development. These grants will provide states with the tools, training, and resources they will need to be operational for their unique types of disasters. The AVMF board of directors has set a goal that at least 18 states receive organizational planning assistance by 2006.

"Animal disaster preparedness is a national issue that requires unique local response, " said AVMF chair, Dr. Robert Gordon. "As we continue supporting VMATs on the national level, we are expanding our attention to helping states develop and implement their local efforts."

More than 150 guests, including members of the AVMA Executive Board, AVMF board of directors, and other friends, gathered in Philadelphia for a benefit evening of jazz and fine dining on July 25, during the AVMA convention. Guests and sponsors contributed over $13,000 in support of the AVMF's efforts to advance the care and value of animals especially in times of disaster.

"Through the support of veterinarians, corporate sponsors, pet owners, and others at events like this, the AVMF can expand its support of VMAT and make significant contributions to animal disaster preparedness efforts", said Dr. John Talmadge, AVMF development chair.