Speaker Spotlight – Ashley Patterson


Ashley Patterson, DVM, MPH, is currently the Associate Director of Operations for the California Veterinary Emergency Team (CVET) and is one of the many veterinarians on the CVET team.

The CVET mission “is to lead collaborative veterinary response efforts to provide exceptional and compassionate care to animals and their families during disasters”.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas, a DVM from Washington State University, and an MPH from the University of Minnesota.

Ashley worked as an emergency management planning consultant for Witt O’Brien’s for several years prior to attending veterinary school, and has been involved in veterinary disaster training and best practice development with organizations such as Texas A&M University, the National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT), and the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP).

Ashley also reliefs as a local small animal emergency veterinarian.

Ashley will be delivering a joint session with Dr Mike Ziccardi “Developing Veterinary Professionals for Disaster Response”.

This will explore California’s veterinary response training and what led to a state mandated and funded initiative.

During a sequence of several major fires in California, thousands of animals were impacted. Many were evacuated from their homes to emergency shelters with their owners, while others were rescued from burn areas. Animals both large and small were sheltered for months on end, and veterinary care including wellness, herd health, injuries, and burn treatments were needed.

Although local practitioners and organizations provided assistance, California ultimately requested out of state assistance from Texas and Oregon. The need for continuity of veterinary care in California during disaster response operations lead to the state funding and development of the California Veterinary Emergency Team (CVET).