The American Kennel Club has given a $100,000 gift to Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine to help development of a mobile response unit for use during disasters in which small animals are left injured or abandoned.
Representatives from the New York City-based AKC went to the university campus Feb. 23 to make the announcement during a Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association board of directors meeting.
The donation, provided by the AKC’s Companion Animal Recovery branch, supports the equipping of a mobile clinic to enhance the college’s ability to provide immediate care to injured, dehydrated or otherwise debilitated animals.
“Mobile response units allow veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide much-needed care as quickly as possible. I speak for our organization and supporters in saying how thrilled we are to provide MSU funding to accomplish this goal,” Jason A. Miller, AKC/CAR’s assistant vice president said.
The new MSU mobile clinic includes a 32-foot trailer equipped with a full surgical suite, treatment room and small holding ward capable of housing up to 16 animals. It will have full digital radiographic and laboratory diagnostic capabilities, as well as an emergency triage service, according to the college.
“While emergency response is the primary goal of the clinic, it also can be used in rural areas underserved by private veterinary hospitals. This addition will help us increase adoption rates, improve the health of shelter animals and reduce the number of unwanted litters,” college Dean Kent Hoblet said.
Hoblet emphasized, however, that additional long-term funding will be required to maintain staffing, supplies and expenses in the years ahead.
“The College of Veterinary Medicine will be actively seeking private gifts to further the work of the unit,” college development director Keith Gaskin said.