May 01, 2018


 AVMF steps up with $200,000 after onslaught of disasters

Posted April 11, 2018

Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria came one after another last fall. Wildfires burned in the western states. Then came winter storms.

Thanks to donors, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation was able to step up with more than $200,000 in grants over six months to help animals and veterinarians in the wake of the recent onslaught of natural disasters.

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey airlifted 786 animals from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The center received a $38,902 grant from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for the first round of medical supplies necessary for the emergency intake and care of the animals.(Photos courtesy of St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center)

Among the grants, the AVMF had given more than $50,000 in disaster funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey as of mid-March. The total includes a $10,000 donation to the Texas A&M Foundation for the care of search-and-rescue dogs as well as pets, horses, cattle, and other livestock that were injured or separated from their owners. Disaster reimbursement grants of up to $5,000 went to veterinarians who provided medical care and boarding to animal victims of the storm, and disaster relief grants of up to $2,000 went to veterinarians who lost homes.

Dr. Sam G. Miller Jr., immediate past president of the Texas VMA, lost his home to flooding after Harvey and received a grant from the AVMF toward his expenses. 

Dr. Miller wrote a note thanking the AVMF for reaching out to individuals in the veterinary community personally affected by the disaster. He wrote: "So much of the focus and support is placed on help for the animals but the individuals that provide that care and are yet impacted personally by the disaster are often overlooked. Thank you for recognizing that it is just as important to support the health care team that provides the medical care for those animals."

When Hurricane Irma struck, the AVMF gave a $10,000 grant to Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The team there moved animals from shelters that were in harm's way. The team and other volunteers assisted in distributing medications for 800 animals.

After Hurricane Maria, the AVMF gave two $10,000 grants to the Puerto Rico VMA for disaster relief on the island. St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey received a $38,902 grant from the AVMF for the first round of medical supplies necessary for the emergency intake and care of 786 animals that the center airlifted from Puerto Rico to New Jersey. Members of the New Jersey VMA volunteered their time and expertise for the center's efforts. 

In October 2017, wildfires swept across Northern California. Volunteers from the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine performed search-and-rescue efforts for animals and provided emergency treatment. The AVMF gave a $10,000 grant to the school toward the response.

Wildfires also burned across Montana in fall 2017. The AVMF gave $5,000 to the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to purchase hay following the wildfires. Winter storms in Montana again created a shortage of hay. The AVMF gave $25,000 toward hay to feed cattle and horses on the Fort Belknap, Northern Cheyenne, and Blackfeet tribal reservations.

Details about donating to the AVMF and applying for grants are at  

The AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund program continues to grow. Practices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico participate in the program, which helps veterinarians provide charitable care. As of late March, the AVMF had distributed $283,359 in grants to help 892 animals. 

Related JAVMA Content

AVMA donates $100,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts (Oct. 1, 2017)

Veterinarians defy Hurricane Harvey (Oct. 15, 2017)

Aiding animals after Irma (Nov. 15, 2017)

Devastation in Puerto Rico (Nov. 15, 2017)

Rescuing animals across fire lines, inside shelters (Nov. 15, 2017)