We have come a long way representing animals in disasters. When the CVMA Disaster Response Program was morphed into the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corp, we became recognized by the Surgeon General's Office as volunteer healthcare professionals. When I went to my first gathering of Southern California Medical Reserve Corps, no one present had any idea why a veterinarian would be among them. As I was introduced by the leadership of the California Emergency Management Agency, the comment was added that "we should not forget to utilize our non-professional colleagues ." Of course, I used the opportunity share the concept that veterinarians are indeed health professionals. We are doctors and interested in promoting both human and animal health and well-being. They were amazed...and skeptical.
That was two years ago.
At today's California Emergency Management Agency event, the CAVMRC was asked to attend. The California Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the American Red Cross, gave out Mini-Pet Preparedness kits too! In fact, the pet kit went faster than the human first aid kits.
We still have a way to go, but it starts with responsible pet owners. Step one, does your pet have an identification tag or microchip?
Dr. Mc, Veterinary Nomad
Journal. Sept. 20, 2011
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