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AVMA, AVMF, Red Cross Enter Agreement to Coordinate Animal Rescue Efforts and Programs
Date:3/25/2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) have signed a partnership agreement with the American Red Cross to help protect animals and pets during emergencies.

"The American Red Cross is proud to continue our partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Association," explains Mary DeWitt-Dia, senior associate at the Red Cross. "Through our continued collaboration and coordination we will be able to help our communities better prepare for and respond to the needs of families and animals before, during and after disaster."

The three groups have had a statement of understanding since 1998, but last month they penned a more formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that lays out the groundwork for increased cooperation between the national organizations. The AVMF is the charitable branch of the AVMA that funds disaster response and emergency preparedness training and accepts charitable contributions on behalf of these efforts.

"This partnership with the Red Cross will help American Veterinary Medical Foundation bring substantive help to pets and animals not only on the national level but at the local level. It gives us a hands-on network of people who will work around our goal of helping pets in times of a disaster," explains Michael Cathey, head of the AVMF. "This is an exciting new chapter in the AVMF's outreach efforts."

The AVMF will help fund programs developed under this cooperative arrangement through AVMF grants. The AVMA will serve as a technical adviser to the Red Cross on all animal and veterinary related aspects of disaster-response efforts.

It's estimated that during a major natural disaster, like a hurricane or forest fire, approximately 100,000 animals, pets and livestock are separated from their owners and/or lost. Many times pet owners are
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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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