The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team responded to the call to bring veterinary support for search and rescue efforts in West, TX and to care for those animals in the community who have been injured.
Below are updates provided through the Veterinary Emergency Team's Facebook page. Each time is linked to the specific post so you may comment through Facebook.
7:06 P.M. - The Veterinary Emergency Team will be featured in an interview about their deployment to West, TX on the national radio show - Daybreak USA - tomorrow morning beginning at 8:50 am Central Time.
7:04 P.M. - The members of the Veterinary Emergency Team want to thank everyone who offered their veterinary expertise, medical supplies, and animal supplies during our deployment to West, Texas. We also thank those who volunteered to share their time and talents in support of our efforts there. We could not do what we do without the support and encouragement of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal control officers, shelter personnel, law enforcement, search and rescue team, and animal lovers around the State of Texas and beyond. Your outpouring of support for our team is truly appreciated. We are working on a mechanism so in the event of a future deployment, we will have a way to reach out to everyone, letting them know what we need (personnel or supplies) and how we can work together to get those things where they are needed most.
10:15 A.M. - As the residents of West move into the recovery phase and begin to return to their homes, we are hoping for many more happy reunions between pets and their owners. When the time is right, we would love for West residents to share their happy pet reunion stories with us!
10:36 A.M. - The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team is demobilizing to head back to Bryan-College Station. Thanks to the efforts, dedication, compassion, and commitment of the local veterinary practitioners and the Waco Humane Society, the community of West has the capacity to continue the work that was started to help the animals of West. We thank you for the opportunity to serve and wish the residents and pets of West Godspeed on the recovery process.
8:38 A.M. - Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and support. We are gearing up to start Day 3, and we shall see what the day brings. The job we are able to do has been made possible by the amazing compassion and support that the people we are working with are showing for the animals of West, Texas. We were awakened at 3 am and 4 am by law enforcement officials who found pets while patrolling the community and who wanted to make sure these animals found a safe place. This just reaffirmed to all of us about the importance of our mission.
9:55 P.M. - Second set of photos of the Veterinary Emergency Team posted.
9:52 P.M. - It's the end of Day 2 here in West, Texas. The members of the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team saw 50 animals today. Approximately 35 of those were dogs, but we also saw four cats, five birds, a bearded dragon, two rabbits, and a guinea pig. Our field team worked with the Texas Animal Health Commission team to take care of horses, some cows, and some sheep. As animal control officers from the surrounding area work they way closer to the blast zone, it is anticipated that the VET will have a very busy day tomorrow. Kudos go out to area animal control, the Texas Animal Health Commission, and the Central Texas Humane Society for working together for the animals of West, Texas.
10:46 A.M. - We are preparing to discharge the dogs that we treated yesterday. They will be transported to Waco Humane Society in Waco, Texas. The team there has prepared to shelter those animals we are seeing, and will be helping to reunite them with their owners. If you are missing a pet, please contact Waco Humane Society at 254-754-1454. If you have any kind of photo or medical record or other identification to take with you, that will help with the reunion process.
7:27 P.M. - First set of photos of the the Veterinary Emergency Team posted
7:24 P.M. - As we begin to wind down operations for the day, we have seen approximately eight dogs and one horse. With the background of destruction near our base of operations, we are reminded that each animal we touch is possibly all the owners have left. Our prayers go out to the West community as we continue to work for as many happy reunions as possible.
8:55 A.M. - The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team was activated at 3:30 am Thursday morning through a request from the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Task Force 1 to deploy to West, Texas in response to the fertilizer plant explosion. As we head down the road, we know that we will be very busy as soon as we hit the ground in West.