September 18, 2008 -- The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation's Equine Disaster Relief Fund is accepting aid to help horses in Louisiana and Texas. Money donated to the fund will go to credible programs and organizations that are helping with recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and any future disasters that may occur. Just as the Equine Disaster Relief Fund did during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, funds will only be used to benefit the health and welfare of horses affected by disasters and to assist with emergency and disaster preparedness programs.
"The AAEP, AAEP Foundation and the equine veterinary community are saddened by the tragic loss of life and incredible destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Ike," said Dr. Eleanor Green, AAEP president. "We are compelled to reach out, together with our members, horse owners and industry leaders, as part of the effort to support the human and equine victims of this disaster."
The AAEP Foundation will work with agencies and veterinary members in Texas and Louisiana affected by this disaster to identify the needs of the equine community.
As an example of past assistance through this fund, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the AAEP Foundation's Equine Disaster Fund made donations of $25,000 each to the Louisiana and Mississippi veterinary medical associations to assist with their rescue and relief efforts. A total of $21,000 was donated to the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA) Equine Committee for a hay relief effort in Vermillion Parish, in partnership with the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the LVMA Equine Committee. Another $5,200 assisted a hay relief effort to Louisiana organized by the Horse Owners of Florida and $12,000 was used to assist with a cooperative donation of equipment for the New Orleans Police Mounted Patrol.
To assist with a preparedness project, $20,000 was donated to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine's Disaster Response Team. This team trains emergency first responders, has a deployable field hospital for large and small animals and team members are trained and ready for large animal technical rescue.
Visit www.aaepfoundation.org to donate online or download a donation form. Tax-deductible contributions also can be sent to: AAEP Foundation Equine Disaster Relief Fund, AAEP Foundation, 4075 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Call 1-800-443-0177 (U.S. only) or 859-233-0147 for more information.
The AAEP Foundation Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization, is the charitable arm of the AAEP. Founded in 1994, the AAEP Foundation Inc. is dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. The AAEP Foundation Inc. draws on the expertise of world-renowned caregivers and researchers in identifying the needs of the equine, and is unequaled in its ability to identify the most critical health concerns facing the equine population. One hundred percent of contributions is used for the benefit of horses and their caregivers.