The Sacramento Bee reports that the UC Davis California Veterinary Emergency Team Program will receive new state funding to deploy veterinary school professors and students to disasters like wildfires, and also train volunteer response teams around the state.

UC Davis says that a major goal of the program is to increase emergency response capacity and standardize disaster response throughout the state.

In a typical year, UC Davis vets treat around 1,000 pets and livestock injured in wildfires.  Sadly, this number has been increasing recently, which is why more action is needed to help animals.  1,500 animals were aided during the 2018 Camp Fire alone, with 70 receiving treatment in the vet school’s hospital.

California State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) wrote the bill to create this new program.  He says that these mobile response teams can save people too, because many pet and livestock owners are reluctant to evacuate if they fear their animals will be abandoned.

“We have a new reality in our world, with more prolific wildfires and other disasters and we have to step up our response in accordance with that need,” Glazer said.

Rural homeowners often need extra assistance with emergency animal evacuations and veterinary treatment.  During a fire last year, one evacuee said she could only transport some of her animals herself.  She received help with the other animals, including a severely burned cat who got free treatment at UC Davis for 3 months.


Images:  UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine



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