LSU Veterinary School and LSART hosted two-day animal disaster response boot camp, July 18-29



BATON ROUGE, LA – The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU SVM) and the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) partnership held a two-day Boot Camp training event for veterinarians, animal control officers and veterinary students on July 28-29. Participants learned about large animal and single animal rescue techniques following natural disasters, such as floods or mud slides or when other emergencies occur. The LSART/LSU partnership has trained more than 1,000 veterinary students, veterinarians, first responders and animal care personnel since 2005.


The first day was devoted to large animal handling where the participants learned about equine (horses), caprine (goats) and bovine (cattle) behaviors, restraint, herding, haltering and how to perform physical assessments of the animal’s overall behavior and well-being. Day two focused on the technical aspect of single animal rescue such as rescue of a down horse or cow using large animals and glides, slings and other technical rescue equipment while keeping the responders and the animals safe. Participants also learned about important equipment to have on hand to facilitate animal rescue from trenches, floods, mud, or other disaster situations. The training team included instructors from the LSU SVM, the LSU AgCenter and CRM Farrier Services.


The LSART/LSU Small and Large Animal Disaster Response and Training Team is ready to respond to the 2016 storm season or other animal emergencies as needed. Over the past 11 years, the team has acquired special equipment and the expertise required for responses of varying types and capacities and has continued to build the infrastructure needed for a functional emergency response support team, including credentialed veterinarians trained in infectious disease outbreaks and control, public health-related issues, and small or large scale events, such as trailer accidents, hurricanes, chemical spills and animal disease outbreaks.


The LSART/LSU team has a specialized disaster response mobile command center equipped with satellite equipment, portable corrals and stalls, kenneling materials, a utility trailer containing technical rescue equipment and a large animal training mannequin. While deployed, the team is able to perform assessments of animals and triage the injured. It is able to assess the environment for safe water and food supplies for stranded livestock and pets, evaluate food and nutrition needs and develop ways to stabilize injured animals, get them to safety and shelter, and manage and staff small and large animal shelters and field hospitals.


The LSART/LSU disaster response team is dedicated to being available to provide needed aid during a disaster, and continue to use these opportunities as a teaching tool for present and future veterinarians and other animal care personnel. Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac; the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill; the Mississippi River flooding in Tennessee (May 2011) and smaller scale rescues, including vehicular accidents and flood rescues, make up the list of responses since the group was formalized in 2005.


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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.


Media Contact:               

Ginger Guttner, Director of Public Relations

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

225-578-9922 or