Reaching the Equine Victims of Katrina Slowly, but Surely

Rescuers have begun to successfully access areas with horses trapped in flooded stalls and paddocks and the horses are being shipped out for veterinary medical attention. This afternoon The Horse received an update on rescued horses from Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Equine Health Studies Program at Louisiana State University's (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine.

Moore said, "Thus far we have received 63 horses from two different barns in the Kenner, La. area near the New Orleans Airport. The horses were standing in approximately three feet of water. All were successfully evacuated yesterday and received at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La. in very good shape.

"One horse appeared dehydrated but was re-hydrated with oral fluids, two horses had very minor lacerations which were sutured, and all others were in very good health," Moore continued. "They are being housed at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center and being cared for there by numerous volunteers under the direction of Dr. Dennis French (DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP), one of our equine veterinarians here at the LSU Equine Clinic."

The rescue of these horses is just the beginning. "We expect to be receiving more horses as access to the affected areas is permitted," adds Moore. "It is anticipated that many more horses, and probably ones in worse shape, will be evacuated and received over the next few days.

Moore says that the Horse Hurricane Helpline (225/578-9501) has received inquiries for the need for assistance (rescue, shelter, and veterinary care), as well as calls from people wanting to donate their time, services, supplies, feed, and money toward the efforts.

A number of different organizations are offering ways to support the hurricane victims--we're keeping a list updated at www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=6081.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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