LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute and Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry Form “Animals in Disaster Advisory Group”

11/14/2013 10:51 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, or SDMI, along with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, are proud to announce the creation of the Animals in Disaster Advisory Group.

The Animals in Disaster Advisory Group, or ADAG, was formed to lead a coalition of involved and interested organizations to reduce the harm suffered by animals as a result of disasters. The group is made up of individuals representing local, state and federal government; as well as academia and private institutions with expertise in emergency animal preparedness, response and recovery matters. Together these individuals will utilize a strategic approach to improving the care of animals during an emergency. The ultimate objective of ADAG is to save lives and prevent the suffering of both humans and animals involved in a disaster.

“Animal care associated with disaster events and planning is an area of tremendous and growing importance to the disaster management community and affects decisions regarding human lives as well,” said Joseph Booth, executive director of SDMI. “This advisory group is composed of some of the leading experts in the nation and will be instrumental in shaping the future of disaster management.”

Current ADAG membership includes SDMI, Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, United States Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Department of Agriculture Emergency Programs Division, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and Louisiana Department of Health Hospitals, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said, “While we have come a long way with our emergency and recovery efforts, we are always looking at new ways to improve our disaster response while increasing our effectiveness and efficiency. Working with this group of emergency and animal experts will only move our objectives forward. At the end of the day, it’s about saving people’s lives. As we’ve seen in past events, people are reluctant to leave their family pets behind, specifically during an evacuation. Our goal is to ensure that their four legged family members are safe and secure, then we can ultimately get everyone out of harm’s way and eventually back home.”

For more information on ADAG, please visit SDMI, part of the Stephenson National Center for Security Research and Training, was established to help save the lives of people and animals by continuously improving disaster response management through research and education. Vision and a generous donation by LSU alumni Emmet and Toni Stephenson were responsible for the creation of the institute in 2007. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Lauren Bourg, SDMI manager of external relations, at 225-578-7668 or

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013