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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Veterinary Response Teams

Providing the best veterinary care in the worst of times

Disasters threaten health – for both humans and animals. The National Veterinary Response Teams (NVRTs) provide expert veterinary care to service animals, including security animals, during disasters and certain national security events.

The NVRT members include veterinarians, animal health technicians, epidemiologists, safety specialists, logisticians, communications specialists, and other support personnel. They are deployed to supplement federal, state, local, tribal and territorial resources at the request of local authorities.


National Veterinary team members cleans a kitten's ears.

Serving at the Intersection of Human and Animal Health

Animal health and human health are intertwined. No matter whether it is a disaster or just a large event, protecting the health of animals helps to keep everyone safe. NVRTs may be called on to provide a wide range of services, such as:

  • assessing the veterinary medical needs of animals and communities
  • providing veterinary medical support to working animals which might include search and rescue dogs and animals used for law enforcement
  • assessing environmental and zoonotic diseases
  • providing veterinary support to other deployed NDMS teams

Scaling to Meet the Needs of the Community

Every emergency or special event is different – and so is every NVRT. NVRTs are modular and deploy only those people and assets needed to help the community.

NDMS Seal 

  • This page last reviewed: September 09, 2017