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Section III, Chapter II

Contents

557

SECTION III.

CHAPTER II.

AMERICAN RED STAR ANIMAL RELIEF.

In April, 1916, the president of the American Humane Association offered the services of this organization and its allied societies to the War Department for the purpose of rendering assistance in the event of war to wounded animals employed by the Army; furnishing base hospitals, veterinary supplies, and ambulances in a capacity similar to that in which the Blue Cross functioned for the allied foreign armies.1 In May 22, 1916, the Secretary of War invited the society to cooperate much after the manner of the Red Cross for human beings in the Army.2 As a result of this invitation the American Red Star Animal Relief was organized under the auspices of the American Humane Association to perform this work. Although encouraged by the Secretary of War in May, 1916, it was not until June 7, 1918, that this organization was officially authorized to function with the Army, to furnish emergency aid and such supplies as were not available from the War Department, as well as special equipment unattainable through regular appropriations.4 The Red Star rendered valuable service and in many instances supplied medicines, dressings, and other accessories to veterinary hospitals. 5 A leaflet on first aid for Army horses was prepared and gratuitously distributed by the Red Star to soldiers handling horses, on the request of officers and veterinarians. Over 80,000 of these pamphlets were distributed for Army use. 5 Eleven motor veterinary ambulances of a type acceptable to the commanding general were supplied to the American Expeditionary Forces at a cost of $57,522. 5 Seven other ambulances, motor or horse drawn, were furnished Army cantonments and camps in the United States. 5 Two were held in reserve by headquarters, making a total of 20 veterinary ambulances purchased by the Red Star. 5 In this country four automobiles and 10 motor cycles (seven with side cars) were furnished for the use of camp veterinarians in order to permit them to visit sick and injured animals at distant points and to take the necessary supplies. 5 Several supply buildings were erected, and large quantities of bandages, surgical instruments, drugs, stable supplies, etc., at the request of veterinary officers, were sent to Army camps. There was expended by the Red Star for Army supplies a total of $99,299.91.5 Of this amount the sum of $69,248.68 was paid out by head- quarters, and $30,051.23 expended direct by local departments and Individuals with the approval of headquarters.


558

REFERENCES.

(1) Letter from the American Humane Association to the War Department, April 15, 1916. Subject: Animal Relief. On file, Old Files Section, Mail and Record Division, A. G. O., 2396301.(2) Letter from the Secretary of War to Dr. William 0. Stillman, president of American Humane Society, Albany, N. Y., May 22, 1916. Subject: Rendering Assistance to Wounded Animals Employed by the Army. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., Correspondence File, 080 (American Red Star Animal Relief) (T). (3) Letter from Dr. William O. Stillman, the director general, American Red Star Animal Relief, to the Surgeon General, June 30, 1917. Subject: Organization of American Red Star Animal Relief. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., Correspondence File 080 (American Red Star Animal Relief) (T). (4) Letter from the Secretary of War to the director general, American Red Star Animal Relief June 7, 1918. Subject: Authority for Red Star Animal Relief to Function. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., Correspondence File, 080 (American Red Star Animal Relief) (T). (5) Memo. from the director of Veterinary Corps to the Assistant Secretary of War, February 27, 1919. Subject: Aid Furnished by the Red Star. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., Correspondence File, 080 (American Red Star Animal Relief) (T).