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

forced to leave their pets behind during a disaster because they haven't appropriately prepared for evacuation. Sometimes pet owners have been prepared but local or state disaster plans have not been written to accommodate for the evacuation of animals. One of the goals of the MOU is to reverse this trend.

"I am eager to see how we can collectively address challenges in disaster preparedness and response as we look to prepare families for the unexpected," explains Dr. Heather Case, AVMA coordinator for emergency preparedness and response. "This new MOU is a call to action for both groups and will allow us to develop new programs on the local level to meet the challenges."

Dr. Case said that the renewed cooperation between the AVMA and the Red Cross is already starting to bear fruit. For example, the Chicago chapter of the Red Cross and the AVMA have been meeting to address a problem of common concern following house fires: temporary housing for pets. The Red Cross provides temporary housing for the victims of fires but cannot currently accommodate pets.

"Many people choose to sleep in their cars simply because they can't find a home for their pets," Dr. Case explains.

A new program being developed by the two groups in Chicago would create a network of local veterinarians that would house the animal victims of a house fire. Once this program is developed in Chicago, it's hoped that it will be duplicated across the country.

For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org. For more information about the AVMF, please visit www.avmf.org.

The AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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