PetAid Disaster Services Provides Support for Colorado Wildfire Efforts
June 28, 2012 — As more fires burn across Colorado, PetAid Disaster Services (formerly the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation's Animal Emergency Management Program), continues to provide support and response as needed to local communities impacted by the wildfires.
Through its support of the State Emergency Operations Center, Disaster Services and its director, Deborah Foote, have provided over 120 hours of technical assistance and logistics support to the local animal response efforts in Larimer, Teller, Douglas, Boulder, and El Paso Counties and the City of Colorado Springs.
Disaster Services has been responsible for assisting with locating and deploying trained and credentialed personnel to support animal sheltering, veterinary services, and assuring that evacuees have access to the pet supplies that they need.
Colorado Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (COVMRC) members have deployed to Larimer, Teller, and El Paso Counties and the City of Colorado Springs for support of small animal shelters, provision of veterinary care, and pet supply distribution efforts.
PetAid Emergency Operations Center volunteers have stepped in as requested to provide six days of direct support to local emergency operations centers in Larimer and Douglas Counties. These volunteers have fielded inquires from the public regarding sheltering and evacuation options and located personnel and equipment as requested by local partners.
PetAid Disaster Services is also partnering with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) in Colorado Springs to provide veterinary support to their facility and a temporary shelter at Freedom Expo Center to care for animals affected by the fires. Disaster Services is arranging for veterinarians and technicians from the COVMRC to perform health exams on evacuated animals and oversee their general health and care.
During the High Park Fire, PetAid Disaster Services provided support to the Larimer Humane Society to assure that the needs of the large animal shelter at The Ranch and the small animal shelters at Larimer Humane and other local veterinary clinics were being met.
Over 400 large animals were housed at The Ranch and approximately 300 small animals at the Larimer Humane Society and partner veterinary clinics. PetAid Disaster Services volunteers provided four days of support in the Larimer County Emergency Operations Center and organized the pet supply component of the donations center.
The Springer Fire in Park/Teller counties resulted in the evacuation of 150 horses from a local ranch to the Teller County Fairgrounds. Evacuations were limited but concern remains that a densely populated area could be evacuated in the future. PetAid Disaster Services and its Colorado Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (COVMRC) provided logistical support to the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter in the establishment of a temporary animal shelter.
For more information on PetAid Disaster Services, click here.
Volunteering During a Disaster
The CVMA and PetAid Disaster Services (formerly the CVMF Animal Emergency Management Program) would like to thank those of you who have contacted us offering assistance with the wildfire efforts. We understand and appreciate that you want to be of service to Colorado communities during this difficult time.
We would like to take this opportunity to stress, however, that PetAid Disaster Services does not coordinate animal evacuation and sheltering during a disaster. That responsibility falls to the local jurisdiction in charge of the incident. Please remember that animal evacuation will not be conducted in areas that are a threat to human safety.
Animal evacuation and sheltering services are typically provided by trained volunteers and professionals. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (COVMRC), which is an initiative of PetAid Disaster Services, cannot utilize spontaneous volunteers. However, we encourage interested individuals to become a member to assist in the future. Click here for more information including training and credentialing requirements.
To provide general volunteer assistance or to donate goods, services, or cash, please call your local 211.These trained volunteers will provide guidance on how to offer your time or resources. Please note that only that which is needed will be accepted. Additionally, you can also visit the following website: www.helpcoloradonow.org.
We are aware that during a disaster people wish to assist their community. Please recognize that the time to become involved is not during a disaster, but before. We encourage you to reach out to your local community to become a part of a professional, coordinated response effort.
Click here for more information on PetAid Disaster Services and links to additional resources.
Want to Help?
If you would like to support the work of PetAid Disaster Services during the Colorado wildfires, click here to make an online donation and put "Disaster Services" in the special instructions box. If you wish to donate via mail, send a check made out to "PetAid Colorado" to 191 Yuma St., Denver CO 80223 and put "Disaster Services" in the memo line. THANK YOU!