Preparing for Rita in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE— Still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Southern Louisiana braces for the oncoming power of Hurricane Rita.  In anticipation of this Category 4 Hurricane, the Louisiana State University Hurricane Equine Rescue Operation has reinstated the horse rescue hotline at (225) 578 - 9501.  Anyone having knowledge of horses in need of evacuation or rescue due to the hurricane is encouraged to contact a Hurricane Equine Rescue Operation representative at this number.  This helpline will be in effect on a 24 hour basis beginning this evening at 6:00 pm.

Horse owners concerned for the welfare of their animals are encouraged to evacuate them if possible.  Those unable to evacuate their animals are encouraged to open stall doors and pasture gates, allowing animals to flee the storm as necessary.  Having tattoo or microchip numbers, photos and other evidence of ownership will be helpful and necessary for owners to claim their horses in the future.  Helpful tips to become reunited with displaced horses following the storm include painting your telephone number on the side of your horse and/or fastening ownership identification materials to its mane. Following the storm, the Hurricane Equine Rescue Operation team and volunteers will begin attempts to retrieve injured and/or stranded animals as soon as possible and re-unite them with their owners.

This hotline is provided exclusively for horses in need of evacuation/rescue.  Those wishing to volunteer their time or services or provide supplies and/or equipment should visit the website of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine at www.vetmed.lsu.edu or the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association at www.lvma.org. Persons wishing to provide monetary to assist the Louisiana Horse Victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, are encouraged to forward their contributions to  “LVMA Equine Committee Foundation” (write "Horse Hurricane Relief" on the memo line) and mail to Dr. Sonny Corley, LVMA Equine Committee, 121 E. Gloria Switch, Lafayette, LA  70507 or call 337-235-9945.

Media Contact:
Ky Mortensen
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine
225.578.9590
kmortensen@vetmed.lsu.edu    

The mission of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is to provide superior education in veterinary medicine and related fields, to offer a wide range of superior services to the general public and the veterinary medical community, and to maintain a relevant, high-quality research program in basic and applied fields.

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