Recent natural disasters, including tornadoes and massive flooding, have impacted many areas of the United States and beyond. But this does not affect only people; wildlife, farm animals, and pets also suffer, if they survive.

Emergency response teams must focus on providing basic needs to people, but relief efforts must also provide care for the nonhuman victims of these tragedies.

As a branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s (AVMF) Animal Disaster Relief and Reimbursement (ADRR) programs provide financial assistance to veterinarians in the front lines of disaster struck areas. These brave professionals, who are often volunteers, evaluate and treat animal survivors. The AVMF provides assistance to veterinarians giving veterinary care. Some animals may be reunited with their humans, others will be lost to each other forever.

You can make a difference in the lives of both the animals and their owners. Please consider partnering with AVMF for current and future disaster relief for the nonhuman victims of disaster by visiting the link shown above.

Beyond the initial impact of trauma from natural or manmade disasters, nonhuman animals may suffer psychosocial aspects of trauma. Fear aggression, separation anxiety syndrome, phobias, compulsive behavior, depression and post traumatic stress disorder are among the possible emotional consequences. Some victims will recover without treatment, but others will require professional care. Please contact a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area or contact the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists for help in locating one near you. There are also relevant handouts on the Quickfix Handout page of this web site. Thank you.

Do you have questions about how you can help pets and the people who love them affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan? Please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Japanese disaster page.

“…the truly noble and resolved spirit raises itself,

and becomes more conspicuous

in times of disaster and ill fortune”

Plutarch (AD 46 – 120)


Psalm 46 (excerpt)

“God is our refuge & strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

& the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar & foam

& the mountains quake with their surging…

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Be still, & know that I am God…”