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T. Kommedal1
1AniCura Dyresykehus Stavanger- AWAKE veterinary outreach, WSAVA AWWC, STAVANGER, Norway
In case of natural disasters, and other emergencies, members of the public will often be offered shelter by organizations like the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations or government institutions. Such shelters are generally set up to deal with human health and safety, but rarely will consider or permit companion animals. Animal shelters can play a vital role in these circumstances and be a life-saving solution for both animals and humans, as we have seen several examples of pet owners refusing to evacuate a dangerous area and leave the pets behind, thereby endangering their own lives to keep their pets safe.
The purpose for most animal shelters is to provide refuge for animals that are abandoned, lost or
otherwise homeless until they can be reunited with their owners or re-homed. In case of disasters a sheltering organization may be faced with the request to quickly house large numbers of animals. This often requires additional emergency housing to be set up in already existing facilities, or assembly of temporary structures for sheltering until the animals can be returned to their owners, moved to more permanent facilities, adopted into new homes, or, if warranted, euthanized. Emergency sheltering equipment is then typically disassembled, and supplies stored until the next crisis arises.
While many shelter medicine principles apply to both emergency shelters and traditional brick-and-mortar facilities, there are significant differences that must
be recognized to ensure humane animal care in a disaster situation. This lecture aims to provide practical recommendations on how to best maximize available resources to properly care for animals during and following a disaster. Some the topics to be considered are suitable spaces for a emergency shelters, housing unit requirements, sanitation, staffing, and how to provide humane animal care and medical care.
Your Singapore, the Tropical Garden City
V. Lim1
1The Riptide Project, -, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The Riptide Project is a global and multidimensional non-profit initiative aimed at improving veterinary mental health and wellbeing in veterinary professionals. Veterinary professionals are 2-4 times more likely than members of the general public to commit suicide. The risk factors related to veterinary suicide are varied, but range from character predispositions, financial stresses, inadequate support, and ready access to means2. Furthermore, vets and vet nurses self-identify very strongly with their careers, and often struggle to leave the profession, even if they have reached dire straits3.
Excluding client factors, about 47% of respondents from a DVM360 survey on job satisfaction reported that workplace relationships and time management issues contributed the most to their on-the-job stress4. Veterinary professionals all enter the industry with the same desire to work with and help animals. It’s time we helped each other.
The Riptide Project aims to promote conversations between veterinary individuals and organisations. We
do this in two main ways – posting stories of veterinary professionals from all over the world, and connecting veterinary professionals through the “Riptide Cuppas” system.
Through face-to-face and online support, veterinary professionals from varied cultural and work backgrounds will be able to connect with likeminded people, both on home ground and abroad. The networking opportunities also open avenues for employment, and allow the diversification of veterinary careers outside of clinical practice.
The Riptide Project was launched to a global audience at the 2017 WSAVA/FECAVA Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark. We look forward to engaging, learning from, and working with, other veterinary professionals who are passionate about improving mental health and wellbeing in the industry in Singapore.
1. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus [Internet]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2017. Riptide [cited 2017 Jun 10]. Available from:
2. Bartram, D. J., & Baldwin, D.S. Veterinary surgeons and suicide: a structured review of possible influences on increased risk. Veterinary Record 2010;166: 388-97.
3. Page-Jones, S., & Abbey, G. Career identity in the veterinary profession. Vet- erinary Record [Internet]. 2015 Jan [cited 2017 Jun 13]. Available from doi: 10.1136/ vr.102784
4. staff: 2015 dvm360 Job Satisfaction Survey [Internet]. Lenexa (KS): UBM Life Sciences, Veterinary; 2017 [cited 2017 Jun 10]. Available from: ID=1

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