See related story September 29
September 26, 2006*
Since Friday, September 22, the Veterinary Emergency Response Team, a volunteer team of faculty veterinarians, technicians and students based at the school's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, has responded daily to a local animal-related disaster caused by wildfires.
The team has aided animals and their owners following fires fanned by high winds to treat those sheep that could be saved.
Dr. John Madigan says, "We treated over 100 sheep for burns and turned them out to feed and water on Sunday. treated over 250 individual sheep again on Tuesday."
Unfortunately, many sheep and several other animals were badly burned as the grass under them burned. These animals had to be euthanized. Dr. Madigan, Dr. Joan Rowe, veterinary residents, nearly a dozen students led by Mario Dinucci, and several staff members, including administrator Bill Herthel, spent the weekend walking burned fields and helping euthanize severely injured sheep to end their suffering.
"It was rough duty," says Herthel. "Some tough old sheep men had tear stains on their face from euthanizing sheep."
A related issue concerns picking sheep up from locations covering thousands of acres and arranging for appropriate burial. Dr. Madigan is talking to the state officials and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors to determine if funding assistance is available.
The response team is donating medications and services to the herdsmen, using grant and donation money. The teaching hospital has also used funds--donated previously by individuals interested in helping animals--to pay for the treatment of several burned horses.
Dr. Brad Smith, director of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, reports that large animal teams from the teaching hospital went out again September 26 to new fields and ranches to help community members with their injured livestock.
Dr. Madigan has led the livestock animal rescue team for more than 10 years and maintains a volunteer crew for emergency response to disasters such as the recent Yolo fires, other forest fires, as well as flooding that took place in Northern California in 1997 and North Carolina in 1999. Using private gifts, the Large Animal Rescue Team has accomplished dramatic airlift evacuations of individual, privately owned animals trapped or injured in remote areas.
The Yolo County Board of Supervisors invited Dr. Madigan to make a detailed report on animal aspects of the fires at a supervisors' meeting September 26.
More about the Veterinary Emergency Response Team
*Updated September 27
You can donate now to the Veterinary Emergency Response Team fund to help treat these herds and support the team's ability to respond to future disasters.
Please contact the Development Office, (530) 752-7024. You may mail a check or donate online to benefit the animals. Please make your check out to "UC Regents (for VERT)" and mail it to:
VMTH Financial Services
102 Admin Annex
Davis, CA 95616-5270
All donations are tax-deductible.