In the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) announced a grant of $15,000 to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) in Austin, Texas. The grant will be used to develop the curriculum and training to certify Rapid Response Animal Emergency Re-entry Teams to respond quickly to animal disasters in the Texas Gulf region.
The Rapid Response Animal Emergency Re-entry Team will operate under the Texas State Animal Resources Team (TxSART), the companion animal emergency management branch of the TVMF.
“The ASPCA recognizes the importance of disaster preparedness and assembling the resources to assist animal victims of both natural and man-made disasters,” said Allison Cardona, director of operations for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “As we approach hurricane season, we want to invest in the future preparedness and response efforts for Texas and are pleased to support the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s efforts to create specially trained teams.”
TVMF will recruit a number of professionals in veterinary medicine, law enforcement, and the animal sheltering field who will receive training in disaster zone assessment, animal care and handling methods, and disaster response procedures.
“As we’ve seen with the Gulf Coast oil spill and Hurricane Ike, disasters will always happen, and because of this generous grant from the ASPCA, we will be ready to provide a rapid response to help the animals that are affected,” said Kay Mayfield, executive director of Texas State Animal Resource Team. “Through TxSART, we now have a united front to manage emergencies, and the creation of specialized and skilled response teams will improve our effectiveness.”