Veterinary emergency team in Texas awarded for response efforts during the state’s largest fire

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) has announced Texas A&M’s Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) as a 2024 NAVC Gives award recipient for its response to the Smokehouse Creek fire in the Texas Panhandle, as well as the team’s continued dedication to veterinary education. The NAVC Gives award includes a $10,000 contribution.

The Texas A&M VET wraps a search and rescue dog’s paws to protect them from surfaces charred by the Smokehouse Creek fire. Photo courtesy NAVC Gives/Texas A&M VET

“The Smokehouse Creek fire caused unimaginable injury and pain to farm and companion animals across the Panhandle,” says NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill, referring to what is reported to be the state’s largest fire in history that burned more than one million acres of land. “Texas A&M VET sprang into action during a historic moment, providing critical services for affected animals and support for the community. Their work and commitment capture the spirit and intent of NAVC Gives to recognize those who are making a profound difference in the lives of veterinary professionals and animals.”

Two days after the fires began in the northeastern Texas Panhandle, the Texas A&M VET deployed a response team of 36 faculty, staff, and veterinary students to five counties in the region to provide veterinary care to hundred of animals. Over 10 days, the team checked 672 cattle and performed exams on 271 animals, including cats, dogs, goats, and horses.

“Thanks to the generosity of organizations like NAVC Gives, the Texas A&M VET is able to respond quickly and assist the animals and people impacted when disaster strikes,” says Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM) Zoran, VET director. “Our donors also empower us to train the next generation of veterinarians—who are more likely to serve a community affected by a disaster than generations before them—in both disaster preparedness and response. The VET is incredibly thankful for NAVC Gives’ support, which has empowered us in our service and teaching missions.”

For more information, visit the NAVC Gives website.