Friday, September 13, 2013

The Red Cross and PetAid Team Up for Pet Preparedness Event

In the steamy Indian summer heat, zombies could be found last Sunday afternoon, in Littleton’s Clement Park. Ninja turtles, “Despicable Me”-style minions and ballerinas, too, battled the sun, sweat and each other in obstacle courses, three-legged races and a preparedness challenge for a great cause. The friendly competition was all part of the second annual Battle of the Vet Hospital All Stars, an event that pits teams of veterinary hospital staff against one another to raise funds, emphasize teamwork and build awareness for a chosen cause. This year, PetAid, an organization focused on disaster preparedness and response especially for animals, was the beneficiary of the registration funds each team paid to contribute to the event.

Since the inception of PetAid as the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2001, the organization has frequently partnered with the Red Cross in disaster response efforts. “It’s definitely a team effort,” Said Tamara Fox, a PetAid staff liaison. “You’ve got the Red Cross sheltering the humans, and PetAid sheltering the animals. It’s always a coordinated effort during a disaster.”

The organization teamed with the Red Cross for the Battle of the Vet Hospital All Stars as a part of the relay race itself. In their component of the event, each team member had to think quickly to answer questions about their pet preparedness plans, and teams worked together to create an effective plan with cards representing various pet-related items. Dr. Rose Barr, a participant from Tender Touch Animal Hospital (and a convincing Ninja turtle), said it helped her realize the importance of considering pets’ needs in disaster preparation. “It’s a good reminder of what you’d need, in case of a disaster situation,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of those items at home right now, so it was good to be reminded of that.”

To a pumping ‘80s soundtrack courtesy Denver DJ Rockstar Aaron, the teams fought valiantly for the grand prize, which includes a traveling trophy as well as a wide array of gift items from local sponsors like Kong pet toys and Mile High Dog magazine. The winning team, Columbine Animal Hospital, took the winning title from last year’s champs, Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital. Deer Creek Animal Hospital took second place and Golden View Veterinary Hospital took third. All told, $12,300 in funds was raised to help PetAid continue the work of keeping animals safe and cared-for during disasters.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Red Cross is urging everyone to make their Game Plan for disasters – and that includes a plan for your pet. Visit to work on your Game Plan!

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