The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is helping to ensure the animal victims of the California wildfires receive veterinary medical care. The AVMA reminds everyone that the best way to protect an animal in a disaster is to be prepared to get them out of harm's way.

"The wildfires in southern California will affect and displace many residents of the tragically affected areas, including animals. Animals are too often the forgotten victims of a natural disaster, and the AVMA wants to remind pet owners to make appropriate disaster plans that include their pets and livestock," said Dr. Heather Case, AVMA national coordinator of disaster preparedness and response. "The floods following Hurricane Katrina taught us that pets left behind during natural disasters often don't fare well. Unfortunately, many disaster shelters don't accept pets. So it's up to you to plan ahead and make sure your pets, horses and livestock can weather any emergency."
The AVMA offers a great deal of information on disaster preparedness on their Web site.

In response to the wildfires in Southern California, which have claimed hundreds of thousands of acres of forested land and thousands of homes, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is providing relief to affected veterinarians through AVMF individual reimbursement and relief awards. This program was created in 2005 in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster to ensure veterinary care to the animal victims of a disaster. Veterinarians affected directly by the wildfires or those who incur costs by offering veterinary medical services to the animal victims of the fires can apply for up to $2,000 by contacting Monique Buonincontro, AVMF grants coordinator, at (800) 248-2862, ext. 6691, or email her at mbuonincontroavma. These funds can reimburse affected veterinarians for medical expenses, equipment, modest boarding, some travel, loss of property, or other expenses.

The AVMA also advises veterinary professionals who need help and advice as well as those who want to donate or volunteer to California wildfire response efforts to contact the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). The CVMA can be reached at (800) 655-2862 or at cvma.

For more information, please visit the AVMA at avma.

The AVMA and its more than 75,000 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 atavma for more information.

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