Louisiana State Animal Team Acquires Disaster Response Vehicle

The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), has acquired a deluxe custom-designed animal emergency response unit.

With support from the ASPCA and IFAW, LSART was able to outfit a heavy-duty truck and 36-foot long trailer for use in diverse disaster scenarios, including hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. In such emergency situations, the unit functions as an operations command center or as a mobile veterinary clinic. Additionally, collapsible kennels furnish emergency shelter housing for pets in a disaster area. Satellite equipment provides state of the art communications technology during a response. The unit is supplied with specialized equipment for on-site veterinary emergency treatment and animal search and rescue. The trailer is self sufficient for response in remote locations, with generator power, sleeping quarters, kitchen and bathroom.

"In the wake of disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, we are thrilled to partner with IFAW and the ASPCA to provide this service should another natural disaster strike areas of Louisiana and other nearby states," said Renée Poirrier, DVM, director of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team. "We look forward to serving our four-legged friends and their families with this response unit should an emergency situation arise."

The LSART emergency response unit will be available throughout Louisiana, and to other states as requested, to provide not only animal rescue services, but public education, training, and participation in preparedness activities such as pet microchipping clinics and evacuation exercises.

"The ASPCA is thrilled to help provide the necessary assistance to make this endeavor a reality," said Sandy Monterose, senior director, Community Outreach, Disaster Readiness."Though we certainly don’t hope for another tragic event such as a hurricane or flood, we are pleased the LSART emergency vehicle can provide support to animals in need should disaster strike."

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