These wildfires, that raged across Texas due to one of the driest spells in Texas history, were unprecedented to say the least, and consumed more than a million acres with some fires still burning after more than three weeks.
Luckily there was no damage to the clinic, employees or patients. But within the community of several hundred homes, 26 were lost to the fire, according to Dr. Taylor. Several of the ranchers experienced cattle loss and the fencing damage was significant. Also, pastures will be unusable for many months or even a year, which is a significant hardship. In the days after the evacuation of his clinic, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Greathouse, returned to work and have seen dogs for smoke inhalation, a terribly burned horse that went blind (and was euthanized as a result) and many cats that had been burned.
"Today, weeks later, we are still treating many of the cats," said Dr. Taylor. "Janet and I set up watering and feeding places for wildlife on our land. We did not see any dead wildlife, and many deer, javelina and birds have been by to eat the hay, pellets and birdseed we set out."
Recently, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation unanimously voted to fund a disaster relief grant for Dr. Taylor to aid in treatment of the injured animals effected by the Texas wildfires.
If you would like to know how to get involved as a veterinarian in developing your local community's animal issues plans for a disaster, contact Amanda Barnes with the Texas Animal Health Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512/719-0700 x 792.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation was established in 1978 as a charitable and philanthropic organization. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the health and welfare of animals in Texas and celebrating the human-animal bond through education, public relations, research, fundraising and the development of people in the field of veterinary medicine.