The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Board of Directors approved a $25,000 donation to aid Australian veterinarians who are helping animals impacted by the bushfires ravaging their country. In addition, the AVMA is encouraging its 95,000 members and the general public to consider contributing to relief efforts by donating to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), which will match donations up to $50,000.
“People have been calling us, asking how they can help their colleagues in Australia,” said Dr. Janet Donlin, AVMA CEO and AVMF executive director. “This is how you can help.”
Both AVMA’s $25,000 donation and AVMF’s matching donation will be made to the Australian Veterinary Association’s (AVA) Benevolent Fund, which provides financial assistance to veterinarians who have lost their own property due to the fires or who have provided charitable care for impacted animals.
For those who would like to donate and help veterinarians help animals, visit the AVMF website and use the AVMF code “Disaster Relief – AVA Benevolent Fund.” One hundred percent of all contributions will be directed toward the AVA’s Benevolent Fund.
“As part of the global veterinary community, the AVMA and AVMF are grateful to be able to provide this critical support to our colleagues in Australia who are helping save the lives of countless animals,” said Dr. John de Jong, chair of the AVMF Board of Directors. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating disaster.”
The Australian wildfires have had staggering, unprecedented impacts on people, animals and the environment. Current reports indicate at least 24 people have died, 2,000 homes have been destroyed and according to a biodiversity expert, an estimated one billion animals, including some species found only in Australia, have perished. In addition, at least 15 million acres of land have burned across the country.
As part of its mission, the AVMF is committed to assisting veterinarians, veterinary students, emergency relief teams and allied health organizations who are helping animals during times of disaster. Since 2018, $200,000 in disaster relief has been granted, including a $10,000 donation to GreaterGood.org this past September to fund relief and recovery efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian; in 2018, $20,000 was donated to help with relief efforts related to California’s wildfires. Following Hurricanes Michael and Florence in Florida, the AVMF donated $20,000 to the Florida Veterinary Medical Association Foundation.