World Vets responds to Okanagan fires

  |   Animal Welfare

World Vets, the international veterinary aid organization based in Gig Harbor, WA, has sent their disaster response team to provide veterinary relief for animals impacted by the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires in the Omak, Washington area. There are four large and mixed animal veterinarians onsite, with a fifth veterinarian arriving today, working under the Okanagan County Fairgrounds Cold Springs Fire Relief. They’re providing mobile response to address the needs of primarily horses and cattle that have been impacted by the fires. There are numerous animals with varying degrees of burns, many of which are severe. Other animals have wounds (wire cuts, etc.) resulting from fleeing the fire. There have been limited small animal cases presented so far. A dedicated veterinary response hotline (509-842-3440) has been established that is available to the local community to call in requests for assistance.

Current scope of activity:

  • Provide ranchers with veterinary assessment of livestock affected by fires and written verification of animal status for insurance purposes
  • Clinical assessment and treatment of any and all animals affected by the fires
  • Public health recommendations (e.g. animal burial/disposal)
  • General assistance with recovery effort (e.g. husbandry, fence building, feed delivery)
  • Set up and widely distributed information on a dedicated World Vets hotline offering free veterinary care for any animal impacted by the fires with a vet station available at the fairgrounds and multiple mobile vet trucks responding on ranch calls within an approximate 50 miles radius.
  • Procuring, coordinating and identifying appropriate recipients for large quantity hay shipments (numerous semi- truck loads) through our own efforts and also in cooperation with the Snohomish County Cattlemen’s Association.

World Vets Disaster Response Situation Report for Thursday Sept. 17:

  • Livestock
    • Herd health assessment (332 cows)
  • Equine
    • Burn injuries treated (6 horses)
    • Intensive care (2 horses)
  • Small animal
    • Burn injuries treated (1)
    • Health assessment (1)
  • Husbandry/Fencing/Feed delivery (4)
  • Administrative
    • Arrival of Dr. King with all additional requested medical supplies (note: including requested livestock antibiotics + vaccines)
    • Met with Tribal Liaison Larry Robinette from the Colville Confederated Tribes to start identifying tribal animal needs and coordinate response and resources.

Running total of veterinary disaster activities:

  • Livestock
    • Burn injuries treated (11 cows)
    • Health assessments (1028 cows)
  • Equine
    • Burn injuries treated (26)
    • Trauma injuries treated (2)
    • Intensive care patients (4)
    • Health assessments (5)
  • Small animal
    • Burn injuries treated (3 dogs; 1 guinea hen)
    • Trauma injuries treated (1 dog)
    • Health assessments (2 dog)
  • Husbandry/Fencing/Feed delivery
    • 9 ranches

To learn more World Vets, visit their website or Facebook page.

Report provided by Cathy King, DVM, MS, PhD
World Vets, Founder and CEO


Posted September 18, 2020