Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Veterinarians and Disaster Relief

The current situation in Japan brought to mind the Veterinary Medical Asssistance Teams (VMATs).  

From their website:

The AVMA's Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) serve as first responders to ensure high-quality care of animals during disasters and emergencies. When requested by a state, VMATs provide operational assistance in emergency response programs to state animal health authorities, and organize and provide training preparedness programs to animal health authorities, veterinary medical associations, and other relevant organizations, including:
  • Early assessment of veterinary conditions and need
  • Primary field care to augment overwhelmed local capabilities
  • Emergency-related lectures and training for state veterinary associations, professionals and colleges, regarding emergency animal medical assistance
The dedicated volunteers who make up the AVMA VMAT program help ensure that pets, livestock, zoo animals and wildlife all receive the care they need during times of crisis.

This group has mobilized and helped in other situations like Katrina and post-9/11. They help with displaced animals as well as assessing and treating search and rescue dogs as they can succumb to a myriad of injuries and be exposed to various chemicals that could compromise their health.  

There are two stories about how dogs (non VMAT related) are being utilized in this disaster. Let's hope they find a lot of survivors!

Canine Handler Aids Japan Rescue Effort
US Crews Using K9's in Japan's Rubble

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