Kentucky Large Animal Emergency Response Team Receives Grant

With its first year anniversary approaching this month, Kentucky Large Animal Emergency Response Team (KLAER), a 501(c) non-profit organization, has received a grant for $10,000 from the Kentucky Horse Council to pursue its goal in providing emergency response to horses and other large animals involved in situations causing pain, serious injury, or even death. Typical incidents include trailer accidents on the highway; falling into sinkholes and wells, getting stuck in the mud or water, falling off cliffs during trail rides, etc. In many of these situations, owners or other lay people place themselves in harm's way to attempt a rescue, thus becoming a victim themselves.

KLAER is comprised of a membership of highly trained veterinarians, firefighters, and people involved in the horse industry that have been certified in technical large animal emergency response. This group of dedicated volunteers is on call 24 hours a day, seven days of the week.

"We are very grateful and thrilled about this most generous grant," said KLAER President LaTonna Wilson, director of public relations and marketing at Rood & Riddle Veterinary Pharmacy, "It will enable us to purchase additional emergency equipment and supplies necessary in responding to emergencies and it will give us the opportunity to provide future training to additional individuals. It's comforting to know so many people in our state of Kentucky care about helping horses and other large animals."

KLAER is comprised of two types of membership.

Active membership: Individuals interested in volunteering their time by actively responding to emergencies when deployed. There is no membership fee. Completion of KLAER's large animal emergency response course, 16 hours of rope rescue, and four hour of incident command training are the requirements for active participation. All those interested may join as an active member and begin training at monthly meetings, but will not be called out for active response until these requirements have been met.

KLAER instructors coordinate training sessions that provide responders the opportunity to learn more about large animal emergency rescue with hands-on discussions and demonstrations involving emergency rope and rescue equipment and basic rescue knots. The also cover deployment procedures when emergency calls come in.

Supporting membership: This is for interested individuals who would like to be supportive of KLAER's efforts, but who are not interested in actively responding. The membership fee is $35 per year, and all members will receive a KLAER Supporting Member decal and are welcome to attend monthly training meetings and special events and demonstrations.

When an emergency occurs, the best thing for the public to do is call 911. Typically, 911 will dispatch a local fire department to such incidents. If they do not have the knowledge, manpower, or equipment, they might contact state emergency management and request the assistance of a large animal rescue team such as KLAER.

For more information on KLAER and the services it provides in helping horses and other large animals, visit the Web site.  

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