When a disaster that involves animals occurs in Connecticut, the nonprofit Emergency Animal Response Service (EARS) stands ready to provide needs from temporary sheltering to advanced technical animal rescue.
And thanks to a growing partnership with the VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Shelton, EARS will soon be able to provide emergency medical treatment for pets in need.
EARS is an all-volunteer organization formed in 2011 following several emergency situations that demonstrated the need for a rapid-response team capable of focusing on animal needs.
Members of the team regularly train in a wide range of animal emergency aspects — from first to triage, transportation to handling, and behavior to health assessment.
While many EARS members have a background — or currently work — in the veterinary profession, there was no specific medical team designated as part of EARS until now.
This partnership with VCA Shoreline, a 24-hour emergency hospital for animals, will create the first-ever Veterinary Medical (VetMed) team for the state of Connecticut.
The program will begin with the VCA Shoreline location on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton, with the intent of involving other VCA hospitals, as well as other veterinary clinics, as the team grows.
Fires to hurricanes
Veterinary staff from VCA will volunteer their time and knowledge to the VetMed team during animal emergencies, and will be available to assist at on-site emergencies such as response to household fires that involve pets, or shelter operations during hurricanes and blizzards.
When combining efforts, the main Animal Rescue Team of EARS will be able to focus on technical rescue and assessment resources, equipment and transport, and overall operations and logistics of emergency responses, while the VetMed team focuses on animal care, pharmacy support, medical needs, and other vital aspects of animal health.