Thanks to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, seven organizations will receive some much-needed financial assistance in their emergency animal response efforts.
The Foundation's board of directors at its November meeting awarded a total of $105,000 in state grants for 2010 from the Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund. States are chosen by the AVMF Grants and Awards Committee, which reviews each application for merit and scores it on the basis of various sets of criteria.
Six organizations were presented matching or challenge funds up to $20,000 each, and one organization received a startup grant.
The organizations awarded grants and their goals are as follows.
The Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation plans to use the money to recruit and train new participants in the Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps and Community Animal Response Team programs across Colorado.
The CVMF also wants to strengthen community planning and outreach with partners to build skills in sheltering, animal search and rescue, and veterinary disaster medicine without duplicating efforts.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation has some ambitious goals for this year. Not only does the nonprofit aim to rebuild the Texas State Animal Response Team Web site, but it also hopes to develop a new strategic plan for TXSART.
The TVMF wants to review and redefine the roles and responsibilities for emergency response for all TXSART member agencies. The TVMF will also work to improve public education efforts.
The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation will provide funding for additional training and equipment for its SART.
Its first priority is to obtain a response trailer with appropriate equipment. It will take several years to do so, but the OVMF is saving for it.
As for the OVMF's training goals, it will focus on emergency pain management. Medical Reserve Corps orientation and other training are being worked on and include topics such as animal decontamination and sheltering operations.
The California Veterinary Medical Foundation plans to assist in transitioning the California veterinary community from its former volunteer coordinator system to the new California Veterinary Medical Response Corps system.
By doing so, the CVMF said it and the state as a whole will be better prepared when disasters occur because of an increased number of highly trained veterinary professionals who, in turn, can educate others in their communities.
The Kingman Pratt Area Animal Response Team is a disaster response network of volunteers located in south-central Kansas. Funds from the AVMF will enable the team to expand its animal disaster response participation to nearby counties and provide public education in disaster preparedness.
Another team mission is to recruit and train more volunteers.
The Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition plans to develop training materials and procure equipment and supplies to carry out large animal rescue training in more areas of the state.
This would create an all-encompassing approach and bring currently split efforts to assist agricultural animals and pets closer together, particularly in rural counties, according to the coalition.
The organization also will work on starting an animals in disasters seminar. Currently, Utah does not have an annual meeting where people can come together to discuss issues strictly related to animal response. This will also provide a forum for training volunteers.
Finally, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa received a matching grant for an emergency response treatment and transport trailer equipped with a basic examination room. The trailer will be shared among the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Foundation, Iowa VMA, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Iowa Veterinary Rapid Response Team.
Such a well-organized, fully equipped unit can respond to any sort of disaster in Iowa, according to the organization.
AVMF award totals for 2009
- Veterinary practice relief – two awards amounting to $4,000
- Reimbursement for emergency animal care expenses – eight awards amounting to $13,436
- Scholarships – 23 awards amounting to $29,500
- Disaster training – seven awards amounting to $30,000
- State grants – nine awards amounting to $129,000
- AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams – one award amounting to $50,000
In all, the Foundation awarded $255,936 this past year.