LSU Veterinary School helps care for animals affected by Hurricane Laura
For Immediate Release: September 28, 2020
BATON ROUGE—In partnership with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Disaster Response Team began mobilizing as Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura looked as if they would strike the Louisiana coast. “As responders, we began taking care of and preparing our homes, making sure everything was in order in case we had to leave for an affected area, and making sure our emergency supplies were packed so we could respond quickly,” said Brandy Duhon, DVM (LSU SVM 2013), instructor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences.
One of the good things to come out of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine has amassed a great deal of experience in preparing for and responding to disasters and helping animals affected by them. Our faculty and staff now train others to come to the aid of animals following disasters. The LSU SVM’s disaster response efforts began with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have continued with Hurricanes Ivan, Gustav, Isaac, and Laura; the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, the Mississippi River flooding in Tennessee in 2011, the flooding in south Louisiana in 2016, and smaller scale rescues including vehicular accidents and flood rescues.
Prior to the storm, Jenny Sones, DVM (LSU SVM 2008), assistant professor of theriogenology; Danielle Cucuzella, DVM, equine medicine and surgery intern; and Lindsay Trahan Reed, DVM (LSU SVM 2018) performed pre-storm physical exams on search and rescue dogs at the Baton Rouge Fire Marshal’s office.
On August 27, the LSU SVM sent faculty and staff to Calcasieu Parish to help with the disaster response and assist LSART. Chance Armstrong, DVM, assistant professor of food animal health management; Jenny Sones, DVM (LSU SVM 2008), assistant professor of theriogenology; Tanner Hernandez, DVM (LSU SVM 2020), shelter medicine intern; Kate Jackson, equine technician; and Cassie Tabler, equine technician. Ryan Sones, Dr. Sones’s husband, accompanied the team as well. The team assisted veterinarians in the area and helped perform animal and structure assessments.
Some animals were transported to the LSU SVM Veterinary Teaching Hospital for further treatment, and the weekend of September 19, LSART and the LSU SVM Disaster Response Team traveled to New Orleans to vaccinate animals that evacuated with their owners due to Hurricane Laura.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.
Photo: The LSU SVM Disaster Response Team traveled with LSART to New Orleans to vaccinate pets evacuated due to Hurricane Laura. Julia Fincher is trimming nails, and Marley McInnis is holding the dog.
Ginger Guttner, APR
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine