LSU SVM Wildlife Hospital Receives Gifts to Further Its Care for Injured Wildlife

06/21/2021

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl receiving treatment at the LSU SVM.

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Hospital has received two gifts to further its work on behalf of wildlife in Louisiana. 

Richard P. Sivicek has established the LSU SVM Wildlife Support Fund with a gift of $100,000. The fund will provide additional student training opportunities within the school’s Wildlife Hospital by funding treatment, nutrition, and sustenance of injured and resident wildlife receiving treatment.

Susan Belt has made a $10,000 gift to the Wildlife Hospital of LA Support Fund. Dr. Belt is a 1998 graduate of the LSU SVM. She owns the Reynolds Road Animal Clinic in Bryant, Arkansas.  

“These generous gifts will enable us to carry out conservation medicine by providing veterinary care for injured wildlife, conducting conservation research, and educating the public about wildlife conservation in the state of Louisiana. Every animal released by the Wildlife Hospital makes a difference!” said Thomas N. Tully, Jr., DVM (LSU SVM 1986), DABVP, DECZM, Paula and Milton W. Shepard Professor.

The LSU SVM Wildlife Hospital cares for injured animals brought to us for care and treatment. The goal is to treat and rehabilitate these animals so that they can be released back into the wild. We receive approximately 1,200 wildlife cases each year with a successful release rate of 40 percent.

“It is only through our committed stakeholders, such as Dr. Susan Belt and Mr. Richard Sivicek, that we can continue to provide Louisiana wildlife with first-class care. These resources also help ensure that our future veterinarians develop first-hand experience working with wildlife so that they can serve as ambassadors for our environment,” said Mark Mitchell, DVM, Ph.D. (LSU SVM 2001), DECZM (Herpetology), Mary Louise Martin Professor of Zoological Medicine.

With board-certified specialists available in many areas of veterinary medicine, clinicians in the Wildlife Hospital deliver exceptional care for wildlife. LSU SVM students also get hands-on experience in the practice of veterinary medicine.

The LSU SVM Wildlife Hospital’s mission is to carry out conservation medicine by providing veterinary care for injured wildlife, conduct conservation research, and educate the public about wildlife conservation in Louisiana.

Our three focus areas are:

Conservation: We provide veterinary care for injured native wildlife from Louisiana and surrounding states. The ultimate goal of our conservation medicine efforts is to rehabilitate and release animals back to the wild so they can contribute to the wild populations.

Research: We carry out research projects at the state, national, and international level with a focus on wildlife preservation and conservation.

Education: We provide veterinary students with educational opportunities in the field of wildlife medicine. The skills learned by these students while working with wildlife species are directly applicable to captive exotic species and are part of their training for becoming skilled veterinarians. In addition, we carry out educational presentations aimed at the general public in Louisiana. These presentations carry the message of wildlife conservation and provide an avenue for children and adults to become aware of the issues that affect our native wildlife species.

The LSU SVM Wildlife Hospital relies on private donations to help cover the cost of food, housing, and veterinary procedures and treatments. Costs vary greatly with species and type of injury, ranging from $50 for basic care to more than $3,000 for orthopedic surgery.

Wildlife cases can be brought to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Small Animal Clinic every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Keep safety in mind when transporting a wild animal (both your safety and the animal’s). Call animal control if necessary. You can call your local veterinarian or our Wildlife Hospital for advice on the animal before interacting with it.

Contact

Sandra Sarr, MFA

Communications Coordinator

sarr1@lsu.edu