While the flood waters have largely cleared in Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the need for rescue and relief continues to be critical. As always with disasters like this, Zoetis colleagues are doing what they do best: supporting customers and communities by volunteering at make-shift shelters, providing emergency veterinary services, organizing pet supply donations, and filling orders for emergency product requests from our call center operations and distribution centers.
Rescue, Relief and Reunions
Teaming up with American Humane and other organizations, Dr. Mike McFarland was one of several Zoetis colleagues on the scene in Harvey’s aftermath to provide emergency veterinary services for distressed and displaced animals. Arriving in Texas over Labor Day weekend, Mike volunteered at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds shelter, a hub for dogs and cats impacted by the storm, as well for overflow from other Houston area shelters. Zoetis provided all of its major vaccines, medicines and diagnostic test kits to the shelter. Many of the pets that Mike treated were suffering from severe cases of flea and tick infestation, heartworm, skin infections and other conditions.
“I am amazed by the dedication of the volunteers in these shelters and how they do everything possible to comfort the animals in their care while providing food, water, shelter and necessary medical support. Best of all, it was very gratifying to witness the joy of families being reunited with their pets,” said Mike.
In addition to displaced dogs and cats, countless horses and cattle – many of whom treaded water for hours or days before they were rescued -- suffered exhaustion, respiratory disease and other serious conditions. Our U.S. Cattle & Equine representatives have been reaching out to their customers to see how they can help, including the many coastal ranches that were decimated by flooding and high winds. As cattle producers are able to locate and round up their herds, requests for help are likely to increase. In the coming weeks and months, our field force colleagues will be working with these customers to not only donate needed animal health supplies, but help them rebuild their practices.
Zoetis is also providing product donations through the Texas A&M University Veterinary Emergency Team (VET), which has been deployed since before Harvey made landfall in the state. The VET relies on emergency volunteers specially trained in disaster response for injured and sick animals. Through VET support and the efforts of our U.S. Cattle & Equine team, a large number of horses have been treated as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
Behind the front lines, our Veterinary Medical Information & Product Support (VMIPS) team has been processing requests around the clock for product donations as they field calls from impacted customers, Zoetis field reps, and volunteer organizations assisting animals in need. VMIPS worked closely with our customer service, supply chain, sales and distribution center colleagues to facilitate timely delivery. In the early days after the storm, commercial delivery of our products was difficult, but the teams worked together to arrange shipments of emergency supplies to our Territory Business Managers for hand delivery to their customers. To date, Zoetis has donated more than $500,000 worth of animal health products in response to the call for help.
How Colleagues are Coping
In addition to supporting customers and their animals, Zoetis colleagues are there for each other. Some colleagues in the Texas area were evacuated from their homes and living with family or friends. Other colleagues living closer to the coast lost their homes altogether. Despite living through the hurricane themselves and dealing with the aftermath, they remain focused on customers and others in their communities faced with flooded houses and farms. Field force team member Joe McLelland gathered and delivered generators to local cattle ranchers who were left without power. Checking in with local animal shelters, our companion animal colleagues like Mark Tye, Tara Loup and Dr. Steve Velling were on hand to deliver products as needed and to bring snacks and refreshments to the volunteers.
Working through our VMIPS team to place orders for next day delivery Tara said, “There are thousands of displaced dogs in particular, and when our customers heard we were delivering product tomorrow, there were tears.”
How You Can Help
If you would like to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, you can donate to any of the following organizations:
As always, Zoetis will continue to work closely with our customers in the coming weeks in their efforts to protect the animals they care for and support them as they rebuild their lives and businesses. We are also working with our customers in the Caribbean Islands, Florida and the eastern United States as they prepare for Hurricane Irma.
- "Supporting Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey"
A Message from Kristin Peck, Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Operations