The Christian Veterinary Mission has served in Haiti since the early 1980s and has set up a dedicated fund for earthquake relief. They currently have three long-term fieldworkers on site, all of whom have checked in as safe. They have also trained more than 1,000 village-level animal health workers.

The fieldworkers are "working with the Haitian people to assess the damage, respond to the immediate needs, and understand how to help once again," CVM Executive Director Dr. Kit Flowers said in a statement. Donate to the Christian Veterinary Mission Haiti Earthquake Fund here.

Heifer International, which has worked in Haiti for 10 years, and currently has 16 projects under way with more than 16,000 families and several farmer associations, has issued an emergency appeal for funds to help families in Haiti recover.

"Heifer is by no means a traditional first responder, but we have projects and partner families in Haiti who likely have lost everything, and now, with this devastation, the need is even greater than before," said Steve Denne, chief operating officer of the global hunger and poverty organization, in a statement. "This appeal will help us help our current families begin to rebuild their lives, and provide the chance to help even more families recover from this devastating blow."

Heifer International has seven employees in Haiti. Their projects, which are scattered around the country, range from training in sustainable farming and crop diversity to gifts of livestock, seeds, trees, and grains to training in nutrition, aquaculture, and fish production. Donate to Heifer International.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has an ongoing Animal Disaster Relief and Reimbursement Fund. All appeals and donor designations around animal disaster and emergency efforts support this fund.

Support from this fund is granted and distributed for efforts involving animal disaster and emergency efforts that meet AVMF approved criteria and initiatives (including the AVMA's Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams-VMAT and their efforts in support of animals in disaster situations).

One of the AVMA VMAT Commanders is en route to Haiti in his role as a member of a National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Team, providing a key link between both human and animal welfare.

Contributions received from specific appeals and donor designations are tracked and every effort is made to align the level of contribution received with support distributed for timely efforts and initiatives. It is important to remember that disaster and emergency programs, planning, and support are ongoing, without the high visibility of specific events.

"Our thoughts are with both the people and animals of this terrible disaster in Haiti," said AVMF Executive Director Michael Cathey. Further information specific to the Haiti Earthquake will be posted later today on avmf.org.

Story by: Erin Ryder, TheHorse.com news editor

It’s no surprise that agriculture and veterinary groups are stepping up to help during this time of devastation for the people of Haiti. Often in medically underserved areas veterinarians, such as those with the Christian Veterinary Mission, become the only source of medical personnel for the people in the area as well as the animals.

This type of emergency demonstrates the intricate and broad training that veterinarians must undergo – they must use their knowledge to assist small and large animals and humans, and help circumvent, prevent and mitigate disease issues due to humans and animals in close proximity where lack of food, clean water and hygiene has a critical impact on public health and food safety.

Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti and our thanks go out to those in the veterinary and agriculture communities who are risking their own safety by assisting those in need, whether they walk on two or four legs.

Geni Wren
Editor, Bovine Veterinarian (sister publication to Dairy Herd Management)