(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 31, 2020—With unprecedented damage and more than 75 fires continuing to devastate Australia's ecosystem, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and VCA Charities have joined forces on a second phase of fundraising to support those impacted by the bushfires ravaging the country.
Already, the AVMA and the AVMF have raised $125,000 for the Australian Veterinary Association's (AVA) Benevolent Fund. The AVMF received over $50,000 in individual donations coupled with a $50,000 matching grant from the AVMF, plus an additional $25,000 AVMA donation. Those funds are being sent to the AVA's Benevolent Fund for distribution to veterinarians who are on the front lines providing relief to animals impacted by the fires.
Now, a second fundraising effort is taking place, driven by a matching grant from VCA Charities, which will match up to $50,000 in additional donations made to the AVMF on behalf of the AVA Benevolent Fund.
"During this deep time of need, VCA Charities and all the amazing associates at VCA Animal Hospitals want to be there to help wildlife, pets, veterinarians and the many vulnerable communities across Australia," said Brandon Antin, vice president of corporate affairs for VCA and a board member of VCA Charities. "Through the VCA Charities Australia Wildfire Veterinary Relief fundraiser in January, our goal was to help veterinarians in Australia provide quality care to all affected pets and wildlife. We are proud to work with the AVMF and AVMA to provide a portion of the funds to the Australian Veterinary Association and their efforts on the ground today and for the long process of rebuilding that is upon them."
In total, VCA Charities has raised $150,000 and will be providing three donations to animal related charities: one to support veterinarians, one to help wildlife and one to help pets. The AVMA and AVMF are grateful to be able to partner on this effort to further help the animals and veterinarians in need. VCA Charities will match every dollar contributed to AVMF on behalf of the AVA Benevolent Fund, up to $50,000, 100% of which will be directed towards disaster relief efforts in Australia.
"We are grateful for the generous support of VCA Charities, and encourage our members and the public to join in this effort which is so important to preserving the unique animal species that can only be found in Australia," said Dr. John de Jong, chair of the AVMF Board of Directors.
"These donations will help veterinarians assist with the immediate medical care needs for all animals and help them recover from this devastating tragedy, as well as their personal loss," said Dr. Janet Donlin, CEO and executive vice president of the AVMA.
Dr. Julia Crawford, president of the AVA, says that pets, horses and wildlife are suffering, habitats have been lost and species have been brought to the brink of possible extinction. Veterinarians across Australia are all doing voluntary work, Dr. Crawford said, alternating between trying to keep their practices running and caring for wildlife that is in dire need of help.
While the situation appears grim, Dr. Crawford says that the donations and support shown by colleagues and the public across the world provides hope and help to all of those impacted by this disaster.
"We feel so supported. It's just made me aware of what a wonderful profession we're a part of, and that our love of animals, that brings us together wherever we are in the world, is just so special," said Dr. Crawford, who owns a practice in Sydney, AU. "Whatever we have left is so incredibly precious and having the funds to be able to treat these animals and look after them is really a wonderful thing. The support has been truly spine-chilling."
For those who want to make a donation, visit the AVMF website and use the AVMF code "Disaster Relief – AVA Benevolent Fund". Every dollar up to $50,000 will be matched by VCA Charities and 100% of all contributions will be directed toward the AVA's Benevolent Fund.
About the American Veterinary Medical Foundation
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association, one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. For more than 55 years, the AVMF has helped veterinarians help animals by providing support for student education, disaster relief, charitable care and research programs. Visit AVMF.org to learn more.
About VCA Charities
VCA Charities is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to inspire and nurture pets and their people to triumph over challenges and thrive together. Established in 2005 by the founders of VCA Animal Hospitals, VCA Charities helps to feed thousands of pets, provide access to expert veterinary care, and support animal welfare organizations globally. Please visit the VCA Charities website to find information about VCA Charities and its programs at http://www.VCAcharities.org.