Australia Wildfire Update

World Vets Disaster Response Team – Helping Animals Impacted by the Australia Bush Fires


World Vets Disaster Response Team, in partnership with Sydney Animal Hospital Northern Beaches, continues to respond to the wildfires in Australia.  Our team has been able to to help many animals throughout fire ravaged areas in New South Wales while also supporting multiple veterinary clinics and  rescue organizations in the region.  Wildlife and livestock with smoke inhalation and burns are some to the most common things being treated.  The wide variety of patients they are seeing is a reflection of the diverse animals species that have been impacted by the tragic bush fires.  Below are some photos from the response.



Australia Bush Fires- Updates from the Field


Updates from the Field-World Vets Responders in Action

Over the years, World Vets has built a worldwide network of veterinary professionals with nearly every skillset within the profession.  Our highly qualified and dedicated force of over 3000 veterinary volunteers is called  to lend their skills and leadership to help animals in some of the direst situations. Whether it be a natural disaster or an impoverished country where there is a lack of veterinary services.  We leverage these established relationships when disaster strikes, which enables our teams to efficiently assess urgent needs and get boots on the ground quickly.

As a WV Disaster Relief Veterinarian, Dr. Ben Brown, who has worked with our organization for many years, has been up close and personal with distressing and overwhelming situations before.  In 2015, he provided service as part of the Disaster Response team for  the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. But having recently been called upon to respond to the devastating bush fires within his own country, this deployment has a personal resonance that is unavoidable. Although Australia is no stranger to bush fires, drought conditions and rising global temperatures have created tinderbox conditions resulting in bushfires reaching historically epic proportions with catastrophic results. An estimated half billion animals have died, some of which are endangered species now facing extinction. Some 11.3 million acres have been decimated. The Australian ecosystem is home to hundreds of unique species of animals many of which were already under significant threat before this disaster. It is estimated a third of the koala population has been destroyed. Dr. Brown runs veterinary hospitals in Sydney. He volunteers time with World Vets on a regular basis and knows first hand the positive impact veterinarians can have through disaster response. ‘As veterinarians, our skills are so important in addressing the needs of animals impacted by natural disasters. Through careful liaison with private and Government Vets it is possible to have a meaningful positive impact for animals in these crises. Personally, I’m overwhelmed at the loss of life, both animal and human, I feel we all have a personal duty to do what we can to help.’

Within the first 48 hours, the World Vets team including Dr Ben, Dr.Simon Ibbotson and Veterinary Nurse, Sami Petzer established contact with local and government vets, acquired an arsenal of the most needed medical supplies, and began assisting in the field. Driving through smoke and miles of evidence of the burn, they reached the region of Bega and Cobargo. Assistance from the team was welcomed with enthusiasm from local veterinarians, many who are solo rural practitioners who have been overwhelmed responding to injured animals. Dr. Ben explained that there are several different categories of need, and the team is responding accordingly.

The large scale of the disaster has made communication and coordination a challenge. The team began their assessments at an evacuation center set up for families that were forced to leave their homes, many of which have been lost to the blazes. Included in that family are cats and dogs that also fled the rapidly moving fires. This evacuation was stressful for a lot of pets who are now in a foreign environment. Health and welfare assessments were carried out by the team. Evacuation centers have also been a primary hub for injured wildlife. The team has assisted in assessment, treatment and referral to dedicated wildlife centers within the region.

The most effective assistance has been through collaboration with local government veterinarians, the RSPCA, and wildlife centers. This has included direct veterinary assessment,  treatment, and donations of food and medical supplies to where it is most needed. “We are seeing a lot of onset of symptoms of smoke inhalation and evidence of burns in cats, dogs, horses, cattle and the native wildlife, including a Wallaby which was treated for severe burns on the feet.”

Each day provides new information and leads on areas where animals require immediate assistance. The team will continue to respond to these needs and to collaborate with wildlife centers, temporary shelters for domestic animals, and assistance with the RSPCA.  World Vets, working direct in collaboration with Sydney Animal Hospitals Northern Beaches, will continue to provide veterinary services, medical supplies and expertise as this disaster continues to unfold.

Unfortunately, an end is not in sight as normal seasonal increases in temperature, and developing storms related to the fires, could perpetuate the situation. We wish Dr. Brown and the team success and safety above all. The World Vets family will be thinking of you and applaud your bravery as you enter the affected region. As we keep in communication with the team throughout the deployment, we will provide updates as information comes in.  We are grateful to all of our supporters who have donated to this effort and who are making this work possible.  Your support is critical and we couldn’t do it without you. 





Sea Lion Rescue in Seattle, WA

World Vets, working as part of the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network,  recently responded to a California lion that was impaled on a bolt in the waters off Seattle, Washington.  The 600 lb sea lion was unable to free himself and was having difficulty keeping his head above water after his genital opening became impaled on a bolt attached to a floating security barrier.  With some sedation and great technical team work, the sea lion was freed.  He appeared to make a quick recovery.   This was a multi-agency response with World Vets, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Marine Mammal Laboratory, SR3 and Seal Sitters.  Watch the dramatic rescue unfold in the video below.

In the Pacific Northwest, World Vets provides veterinary support, field response, urgent care and technical expertise for stranded and injured marine mammals.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal on the West Coast, call the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.


World Vets Responds to Bush Fires in Australia

Our Australia-based veterinary team, led by World Vets Disaster Response Veterinarian Dr Ben Brown, is on the ground and currently responding to assist injured wildlife, livestock and domestic animals, working in collaboration with the local veterinary community.  Our specialized team is comprised of Australian veterinarians and technicians with experience in disaster relief and mixed animal veterinary medicine including native wildlife.  We are collaborating with Sydney Animal Hospitals Northern Beaches and other veterinary clinics in New South Wales.

The most urgent need right now is for funds to purchase additional veterinary supplies like burn creams, fluids, pain medications, bandages and other supplies.

World Vets has set up an emergency fund to respond to this horrific situation. We will provide updates as we get more reports from the field.

Please consider making an emergency donation to support this effort.


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World Vets is a registered 501c(3) Non Government Organization.  All donations to World Vets are tax deductible.  Tax ID # 20-4637447


Art for Animals II – Auction


UPDATE: SOLD! Art for Animals was such a success that we are bringing it back! Just in time for the holidays!  This auction’s featured artist is Justin Brown. You can own this original + amazing piece while supporting animals in need.  All proceeds go to World Vets – International Aid for Animals.  Auction no longer running. Thank you for our support

DESCRIPTION OF ART PIECE AND INSPIRATION: This humpback whale fluke is hand sculpted from 2100 degree F molten hot glass. There are specific metal oxides added to the glass to make the color blue. This is combined with a sheet of pure silver foil on the surface.

FEATURED ARTIST:  Justin Brown is a talented Maui based glass artist who specializes in one-of-a-kind sculptural art glass. He was raised in a Veterinary household surrounded by animals of all types. He is co-owner of Makai Glass in Maui, Hawaii where he lives with his wife and daughter. Learn more about Justin and his work at

“The humpback whales that migrate annually to Maui are the inspiration for this piece. I am grateful to be able spend quite a bit of time on the water with them every year while practicing my passion for free-diving.”

Auction no longer running. Item SOLD.  Thank you for participating!

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