Hurricane Harvey: Aid for Veterinarians


The dangers and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and its days-long onslaught of rain are unique and unprecedented even in states accustomed to enduring hurricane season.

The AVMA is committed to help bring the veterinary profession together to assist colleagues in need, and we have been heartened to see the national response to this ongoing disaster.

hurricane harvey relief veterinariansAVMA members and partners across the profession reached out to the Association asking how to assist Harvey’s victims; and a broad range of organizations and partners in the animal health industry enacted plans to help those in need, including hotline assistance and in-kind products.

The AVMA’s role is to help disseminate information within the veterinary community and among animal lovers and advocates to ensure an immediate and helpful response.

  • The AVMA is in constant contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and other federal entities to assist in getting information to the right people when needed.
  • We are working with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, and reaching out to veterinary schools in both states, to provide information, guidance and assistance as needed.
  • As a member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), we participate in daily conference calls to help plan and coordinate animal-related response to the storm surge.
  • Our charitable arm, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), provides disaster reimbursement grants to AVMA member veterinarians who deliver emergency veterinary medical care and temporary boarding to animal victims of disasters, including Harvey.
  • AVMA PLIT representatives reached out to approximately 700 veterinary practices prior to the storm to provide early guidance on how to deal with potential damages and claims. PLIT’s carriers began receiving claims even before the storm surge from Harvey had ended, and PLIT officials also provided insured customers with resources to help assess damages.

Veterinarians affected by Harvey


Disaster Reimbursement Grants:

Assistance for Affected Animals and Clients:

  • AVMA’s disaster planning materials include downloadable emergency contact cards that can help reunite families in the event people are separated from their animals.
  • The Texas Animal Health Commission set up a Harvey telephone hotline – 512-719-0799 – for use in reporting any animal-related issues, such as animals spotted running loose.
  • The Texas Animal Health Commission also compiled a list of facilities accepting livestock and other large animals for holding/sheltering during the flooding. The list is not comprehensive, and facilities might have space limitations, so please call ahead.
  • The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine is assisting both people and animals affected by the storm.
  • Many companies and other organizations active within the veterinary community have offered assistance and hotlines to those affected by the storm. The AVMA is working with partners to create a comprehensive resource with support, contact and assistance information.

If you want to help

Many veterinarians in the communities inundated by Harvey are providing their time and emergency services to care for and shelter affected animals. To support these veterinarians, please consider donating to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to help fund veterinary reimbursement grants. Give at using the AVMF Code “Disaster Relief” to designate your money for this fund.

Despite the natural desire to volunteer or send in-kind donations to the area, there is no system in place to coordinate such efforts. Relief officials on the ground in the affected areas discourage in-kind donations and will turn away any would-be volunteers who are not already part of a team that is trained and credentialed.

Planning and preparing for disasters

For all who are not in the direct path of Harvey, the disaster is a stark reminder of the importance of planning and preparation in advance of disasters. Please take time to make an emergency plan for your home and business, and review your existing plan if you have one.


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