TVMF’s Commitment to Disaster Preparedness and Response

Disaster preparedness and disaster response has always been a core initiative of Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF). Last month, the Foundation had the privilege of presenting the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) with a gift of $50,000 to use in their disaster response efforts in Texas and beyond. 

VET, a program at Texas A&M University (TAMU), prepares veterinary professionals and students to participate in emergency response efforts at local, state and federal levels. The team has grown to become one of the most critical disaster response units in the state and one of the most sophisticated in the nation. VET’s mission includes:

  • Veterinary medical support of search-and-rescue efforts
  • Veterinary medical care of animals who are injured or become ill as a result of a disaster
  • Protecting the economic viability of agricultural animal industries through participation in foreign animal and emerging disease response
  • Protecting human lives through participation in epidemic and pandemic disease response

VET deployments are large and highly effective. The team consists of veterinarians and selfless servants with diverse backgrounds, specialties and skillsets. To respond to the magnitude of a disaster, major veterinary medical equipment is required. The team will set up a self-sufficient camp, operate at all hours under extreme circumstances and coordinate swift action to help animals in need. From rescue and treatment to transportation and reunification, the team provides hope for happy endings for animals and owners. TVMF’s gift will go directly toward sustaining and growing their capacity and ensuring the team is equipped to be effective in the field.

TVMF President Dr. Chad Harris said VET is something Texas should be incredibly proud of.

“Supporting a program that serves the nation at their capacity is a no-brainer,” he said. “They are veterinary first responders, and their work is essential.”

Thanks to the collective philanthropic efforts of Texas veterinarians, the Foundation is proud to support our friends and colleagues as they save and protect animal lives in the midst of disaster. VET Director Dr. Wesley Bissett believes the collaboration between TVMF and VET is a natural fit with great significance.

“This gift is particularly meaningful because it is from veterinarians who share and value our mission,” Dr. Bissett said. “It says that the veterinary medical community values what we do. Investments like this from TVMF support the largest, most sophisticated veterinary emergency response team in the country. At this point, we don’t have a line-item state budget, which makes donations like this critical to carrying out our mission. TVMA and TVMF’s support in advocating change is important.”

Spearheaded by the TVMF Board of Trustees, the contribution to VET demonstrates a commitment to disaster preparedness and recovery shared by TVMF and TVMA leaders. Dr. Jayton Bailey, a TVMF Trustee and TVMA District Director, has experience in both working with VET and seeing them in action in his hometown.

“When Eastland was struck by fire last spring, I was able to see the team in action in my own backyard,” Dr. Bailey said. “What they do for Texans, pets and livestock is invaluable. I am proud to be a part of an organization that supports their work.”

TVMF was established in 1978 by a group of veterinarians who saw the need to further philanthropic efforts within veterinary medicine for animals, clients and the veterinarians who care for them. The Foundation is committed to supporting the veterinary profession and our communities in Texas by providing resources, education and programs for the responsible stewardship of animals.

For more information about the Foundation or how to get involved, contact Casey McBee, Director of Development using our contact us page here.