Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
The California Veterinary Medicine Reserve Corps was preparing Oct. 10 to head to areas hit by a series of wildfires that have charred about 100,000 acres and killed at least a dozen people.
The organization’s volunteers, primarily veterinarians, veterinary technicians, hospital staff and students, are dispatched to disaster areas. The unit operates under the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.
“We are monitoring the fires burning throughout the state and are in contact with the state operations center, awaiting deployment directives to provide veterinary care for animals affected or displaced by the fires,” the corps stated on its website.
The California Veterinary Medical Association had no immediate reports of any veterinary hospitals being damaged by fire.
Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital, in one of the hardest-hit regions, stated on its Facebook page that it was open Oct. 10 and offering limited services.
Also reaching out to clients were:
- Napa Valley Veterinary Hospital: “We are fine as of now but lots of embers and located in a hot spot. Will keep you posted as we get updates.”
- Wine Country Veterinary Hospital: “What a horrible morning for #sonomacounty and #napa. I am open for #emergency pet health care for the next hour or two. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.”
- Groveway Veterinary Hospital: “Our sister hospitals Alley Cat and California Pet are closed today to allow their staff to care for their family and themselves. We are praying you are safe.”
Katherine Fertig, DVM, owner of Orange County Equine Veterinary Services, rushed to help Oct. 9 when a major wildfire broke out in Anaheim Hills, California.
“Dr. Kat helped evacuate horses from Peacock Hills Equestrian Center and Orange Park Acres,” according to an account on the practice’s Facebook page. “Anaheim Hills Saddle Club was evacuated as well. All horses from the equestrian center were successfully evacuated to other stables in Orange County, but it unfortunately caught fire and [the] extent of damage is unknown. As the fire got closer the horses were moved to a shopping center parking lot and loaded into trailers there. Huge thank you to everyone who helped in the rescue efforts, including the strangers on the side of the road who ran into Irvine Park to help get horses out of Peacock.”
VCA Animal Hospitals, meanwhile, alerted pet owners that a select number of its locations in Northern California were offering free boarding of small animals affected by a wildfire, “including the Tubbs, Atlas, Cherokee, Lobo and McCourtney fires.”
Evacuated pets are being given free vaccinations, if necessary, and free health assessments.
About 140 of the Los Angeles-based chain’s 800 U.S. and Canadian hospitals are in California.