In response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, CareVet deployed CareVet Rescue, an emergency, volunteer-based response providing veterinary care to local communities in the aftermath of a major disaster.
Last week, CareVet's fully equipped veterinary mobile unit staffed by four CareVet Team Members traveled 1,700 miles from Connecticut to Fort Myers, Florida. The team arrived in Fort Myers faster than FEMA and Florida Fish & Wildlife. They sprang into action, donating more than 1,000 pounds of dry pet food and 200 cases of wet food to those in need and the Red Cross. They set up base in the Fort Myers area and were equipped to provide pet care services and vital first aid to those affected free of charge. Microchip scanners were available to assist in lost pet searches, a common consequence of natural disasters.
Fort Myers, a barrier island on the southwestern coast of Florida, sustained extensive damage when Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday, September 28. Upon arriving in the area, CareVet Rescue volunteers were met with flooded roads and destroyed buildings. After navigating into the area, the CareVet Rescue team visited many veterinary clinics in the area to assess the damage and were on standby to assist them as needed.
Partnerships with local animal hospitals and shelters, industry suppliers and manufacturing partners helped provide additional goods and services to further aid in support. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Patterson Veterinary Supply, Zoetis Animal Health, Royal Canin, Merck, Datamars Pet ID and Virox Technologies donated to the cause by shipping supplies overnight to the site.
More than 120 Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians and other CareVet Team Members across the network volunteered to aid in the relief efforts. CareVet supports its volunteers by paying for travel, lodging and the Team Member's regular pay rate while on the CareVet Rescue Team.
"After the devastation that the Fort Myers community experienced last week, this was the least we could do," says Russ Camilleri, a CareVet Rescue volunteer Team Member. "CareVet's mission is centered around helping pets and people. We got to do just a little of that in the Fort Myers community this week and hope that we made this week easier for those impacted."
To learn about CareVet's CareVet Rescue initiative, visit carevethealth.com/carevetrescue.