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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Emergency Kits for Pets Made by Vets

Earlier this month, Darlene Geekie, owner of Veterinary Angels Medical Center in Agoura Hills, unveiled her new company, Veterinary Emergency Medical Assistance, with pet emergency kits designed by vets as its core product. Geekie’s VEMA kits are a direct response to the Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire, and more recently the Ridgecrest earthquake and Saddleridge Fire. “During that time, we realized how many people were not prepared. They didn’t have food, water sources. They didn’t have any supplies for their pets,” said Geekie. “They relied on Red Cross donations and people’s open bags of food, which is unsafe and unreliable.” The kits have a five-year shelf life and include items such as vacuum-sealed food and water, veterinary bandages, a first-aid book, bandage scissors and forceps. Each bag is waterproof and customizable, Geekie said, for dogs or cats. Food and supplies will last three to five days. The company has launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to compile and distribute the VEMA kits. As of Oct. 18, it was 11 percent funded with $2,800 of $25,000 backed by 24 contributors, according to the campaign page. Contribution tiers range from $70 to $530, with the most basic package including a customized kit and early access to VEMA’s emergency preparedness app, which gives community members and first responders real-time communication during the next earthquake or wildfire. By comparison, the highest rated kit, according to Business Insider, was the Pet Evac Pak, selling for $80 on Amazon.com Inc. This particular kit is for large dogs. Pet emergency kits are nothing new — options available through Amazon and Chewy.com average $30 in price — but it’s not always clear if the kits found online or at a local retailer are vet-approved. “I was looking everywhere and going, what is going on? All these first-aid kits are human first-aid kits that they put pet logos on,” said Geekie. “We wanted to develop a veterinary kit – one that was made and developed for animals. The tape is used in veterinary hospitals, the bandage materials are used in veterinary hospitals. Everything in there are veterinary products, intended to use for animals.” VEMA kits also give back to those affected by natural disasters, with a portion of its proceeds going toward Geekie’s Little Angels Project, a nonprofit. Little Angels was a product of the Woolsey and Thomas fires and designed as a disaster relief source and rescue. The emergency app communicates information on prevention and ensures people know what their rights are during a natural disaster and provides a real-time look at where animal shelters are as well as if they are at capacity.

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