Western University of Health Sciences students respond to wildfires

Devastating wildfires throughout Southern California have caused at least $1 billion in damage, destroyed 1,500 homes and caused at least a half-million people to flee – the largest evacuation in state history, according to the Associated Press.

The Western University College of Veterinary Medicine Disaster Animal Response Team (DART), a new WesternU club, is coordinating veterinary medicine students’ volunteer efforts at the following sites:

VCA Central Animal Hospital, Upland – Students are assisting with morning and evening feedings and walks for small animal evacuees.

Pierce College, Woodland Hills –Students responded on Tuesday to help care for more than 100 evacuated horses at this Los Angeles County large animal emergency evacuation center.

Oaks Blenheim/Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park – Students arrived on Wednesday at these stables, which have a capacity for 700 horses.

DART anticipates becoming involved in more sites as time goes on.

How to help

From the American Red Cross Web site:

Financial donations to the American Red Cross are the best way to assist victims of disaster. Monetary contributions enable the Red Cross to purchase the most urgently needed items as close to the disaster site as possible. Purchasing near the disaster site ensures supplies get to victims as quickly as possible, without delays and hefty transportation costs. Because communities hit by disasters generally experience significant economic loss, buying goods locally also helps to stimulate the weakened economy by pumping money back into area businesses.

Unsolicited, spontaneous donations of goods and services from individuals and community groups, though well intentioned, have hidden costs and pose a number of complications for relief efforts. For these reasons, the Red Cross is unable to accept any large collections or individual donations of items, such as used clothing, hygiene items, furniture, toys, and canned goods.

To donate online, visit www.redcross.org.

To donate by phone, call:

1-800-HELP-NOW

(1-800-435-7669)

English speaking

Or 1-800-257-7575

Spanish Speaking

Or 1-800-220-4095

For TDD Operator

If you’re calling to make a contribution to your local Red Cross chapter, please mention Local Chapter. To donate for disaster relief, please mention the Disaster Relief Fund. And to call in a donation for international relief, please mention the International Response Fund.