New Hope for Animals in US Disasters

Friday, September 18, 2009
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®), today announced the acquisition of a deluxe custom-designed animal emergency response unit.

“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 Dr. Renée Poirrier, Director of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team. “We look forward to serving our fourlegged friends and their families with this response unit should an emergency situation arise.”

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.

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.”

LSART, ASPCA and IFAW will roll out the new response unit at a series of community events and training seminars throughout Louisiana this fall. The public and media are invited to attend these events, to tour the unit and receive information on emergency planning for pets and livestock. The roll-out will kick off in Baton Rouge on Friday, September 18, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and media tour at 11 a.m. The ceremony will coincide with a large animal handling training course for veterinary students and animal control officers, co-hosted by LSART and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

Upcoming events include:
• Saturday, October 3rd; Monroe; Bark in the Park
• Saturday, October 17th; New Orleans; Delgado Animal Expo
• Sunday, October 25th; Lafayette; Bark in the Park
• Sunday, November 1st, Jefferson Parish, Pet Fest

More events are scheduled throughout November, December and January. For additional information, please contact
Becky Adcock at (225) 931-9631 or at


LSART is a volunteer organization whose mission is to prepare and train for emergencies that affect animals, and to provide assistance in response and recovery when disasters occur. LSART is a division of The Dr. Walter J. Ernst, Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation, a     501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. For more information about the organization and our activities, please visit our web site at

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.  As a 501 [c] [3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit

About IFAW
As the world’s leading animal welfare organization, IFAW works from its global headquarters in the United States and 16 country offices to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals by reducing the commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW works both on the ground and in the halls of government to safeguard wild and domestic animals and seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people. For more information please visit

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Press Contact

Becky Adcock
Contact phone:
(225) 931-9631
Contact email:


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