Animals in Disaster
Caring for Animals in Disaster and Emergencies:
Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT)
The UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team (UCD VERT) is the veterinary response team at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine formed in 1997 after the Yuba County floods. The UCD VERT is a volunteer group lead by a core of faculty and staff with extensive experience in animal rescue and disaster medicine.
The UCD Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) became a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in January 2008. The UCD VERT-MRC members include faculty, students and staff who are trained in animal emergency response, and can respond to small and large scale disasters when requested by government services. Members of UCD VERT MRC receive training in the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS), animal sheltering, biosecurity, disaster medicine, rescue techniques, evacuation strategies, disaster management, etc.
In the event of an emergency or disaster, the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team can be deployed under the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) or the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Once deployed, our disaster healthcare volunteers provide services for animal-related emergencies and disaster situations.
Students at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine created the sVERT club, and are trained by the VERT faculty and staff by means of lectures and hands on exercises in disaster medicine. The primary role of sVERT is training.
The UCD VERT activities fall under the mission of the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, which is to meet societal needs by teaching, research and service. The UCD VERT provides seminars and workshops on disaster preparedness, disaster response, and rescue methods to individuals and agencies involved with animals. The research component involves science based studies to develop protocols for integrated emergency and disaster response, development of equipment used in rescue, and to create local and national guidelines for care of animals in emergencies and disasters.