The tornado, reported to be EF-5 strength and two miles wide, touched down in the Oklahoma City area on Monday killing at least 24 people.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in Oklahoma as they begin recover and rebuild. Just as people are adversely affected by a natural disaster, so are our animals–both those we keep as pets and those on our farms and ranches,” said Animal Agriculture Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “The Alliance is encouraging its members to donate to worthy causes which will be on the ground in Oklahoma helping in this devastating storm’s aftermath.”
AHA’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services in Oklahoma will include two large “Big Rig” rescue vehicles which serve as mobile veterinary hospitals and triage centers for animals and also transport crates and medical supplies. The “Rigs” also provide lodging for AHA’s staff and first responders.
Other groups that will be instrumental in helping ensure animal care and wellbeing in the storm’s aftermath include the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. Both these groups, as well as AHA, are accepting donations to aid in their relief efforts.
According to a recent press release issued by the AVMF, there are certified American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) veterinary teams standing by to assist in Oklahoma in caring for both large and small animals. The AVMF encourages any Oklahoma veterinarians in need of help in order to continue to provide critical health and sheltering care, to contact them directly.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster, their families and those on the ground helping to assist with the ongoing clean-up efforts,” said Johnson Smith. “We hope our membership and others will be generous in donating to those organizations caring for both humans and animals in Oklahoma.”
For more information, please contact Emily Meredith, Animal Agriculture Alliance Communications Director.