Editors' Note: Helping the helpless
Four days ago, just as we were preparing to go to press with this issue, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. Floodwaters have wreaked unimaginable devastation and sorrow. Our hearts break for the victims of this disaster.
In the weeks and months to come, veterinarians and other veterinary professionals will rush to do everything we can to help rescue the displaced—both people and animals—and restore New Orleans and other ravaged communities in the Gulf Coast states.
In these first few days of crisis, four Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) have already been deployed to care for injured animals and help address public health concerns. The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Louisiana VMA, the Louisiana Animal Control Association, and the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University are now evacuating animals in New Orleans, establishing temporary shelters for displaced animals, and providing necessary medical attention. The Humane Society of the United States also has animal response units in the area. To make a donation to assist these and other relief efforts, please contact the American Veterinary Medical Foundation ( http://www.avmf.org/), the Louisiana VMA ( http://www.lvma.org/), the Humane Society ( http://www.hsus.org/), or the ASPCA ( http://www.aspca.org/).By the time you read this, such relief efforts no doubt will have expanded. We honor the participating volunteers, and our thoughts are with them. The veterinary community is a compassionate, caring group of individuals. We know we'll all pull together to help.