DAVIS – A new emergency program designed to help save animals and livestock during disasters in California was put in place as announced by UC Davis on Monday in a press release.
The California Veterinary Emergency Team is a program that will support and train government agencies, individuals, and organizations to assist pets and livestock in an emergency. The teams will be managed by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team assisted more than 1,500 animals during the 2018 camp fire.
The goal of the new team is “to increase response capacity and help standardize disaster response across all counties.”
The state-funded program will receive $ 3 million per year and was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. The legislation was drafted by Senator Steve Glazer (County of D-Contra Costa).
“The recent wildfires have exceeded the state’s ability to safely evacuate and treat pets and livestock,” Glazer said in the statement. “Twice in the past five years we’ve had to call in Texas to send an emergency team to help. This not only puts the animals in danger, but also increases the danger to residents and first responders if people stay behind the lines of fire because they fear their animals will not be cared for. We need this new team to help train, coordinate and lead the hundreds of volunteers eager to help. Our goal is a ready-to-go team anywhere in the state with a mobile command center, clinic if needed, and the vets, equipment, and medications to get the job done.
The management of evacuation centers and emergency animal care is currently handled by the California Animal Response Emergency System within the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The statement said that between disasters, volunteers will be recruited and veterinary students trained in shelter and emergency medicine practices.
The California veterinary emergency team is expected to be in the planning stages during this year’s fire season.