A powerful trifecta has agreed to partner for the sake of animals in emergencies. The American Red Cross, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a way of laying the groundwork for cooperative action on emergency preparedness and response. The partnership allows for enhanced organization of emergency responders on behalf of animals in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Under the terms of the MOS, responders will mobilize during both local and national efforts.
In major national disasters, such as hurricanes and forest fires, an average of 100,000 animals, including pets and livestock, become separated from their guardians or owners. One of the prime objectives of the MOU is to reduce these numbers. The AVMA will serve as technical adviser to the Red Cross regarding aspects of disaster response related to animals.