The UF VETS team was deployed to Ft. Myers on October 3, 2022 to provide a field hospital for pets affected by Hurricane Ian. With help from more than 40 volunteers including veterinarians, technicians, and DVM students, the team treated over 400 patients from October 4th through October 13th, 2022. The team demobilized and returned to Gainesville on October 14th, 2022.
The UF VETS team is self-sustaining and was housed on site at Terry Park in Fort Myers, with team members living in a bunk trailer provided by a grant from PetSmart Charities and Banfield Foundation. Climate controlled tents and a mobile hospital trailer were available for patient care. Pet food distribution was co-located near the hospital area and was also available to residents in need at no cost.
The hospital was open from 9 AM to 5 PM at Terry Park located at 3410 Palm Beach Blvd, Ft. Myers, Florida. Residents of areas of impact were able to visit this field hospital to receive emergency veterinary care at no cost until local veterinary infrastructure was reestablished to support the community needs. The VETS team is able to provide these services thanks to the support of volunteer veterinary professionals as well as grants and donations. To support future disaster response efforts, donations can be made here.