Animal experts across the state are celebrating the unveiling of a new, state of the art animal emergency response unit, designed to change the way pets and livestock are cared for in the wake of disasters.
TV10 was on hand as the new unit made its debut at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Animal experts from across the state gathered to cut the ribbon on the new animal emergency response unit, a fully equipped truck and 36 foot trailer that can function as an operations command center or as a mobile veterinary clinic, immediately following disasters.
Dr. Renee Poirrier:"The ASPCA and IFAW got together after Gustav, and said all this equipment that we're bring down here, they really need it here, so they came up with this proposal and we were happy to accept it. Now that the emergency unit is ready to roll, it means animal rescuers no longer have to spend hours, or even days, in preparation, all they have to do is get inside and hit the road."
The unit is supplied with specialized equipment for providing emergency treatment at the disaster site, and includes a generator, satellite communications technology.
Dr. Poirrier says in addition to providing disaster related pet and livestock rescue, the unit's versatility makes it useful year round.
Dr. Poirrier: "We're going to be able to use it as a command post, a rolling shelter, as transportation for pets, we're also going to be able to use if for community education, which is our first mission right now."
Lafayette Animal Control Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Liles says in the end, the animal emergency unit will mean more humans lives saved, as well.
Dr. Shelly Liles: "There's just a huge bond between the animals and the people, and if animals aren't included, people are reluctant to evacuate, and so this is a really big day for animal control and animal rescue."
Acadiana residents will get a chance to tour the new LSART emergency vehicle next month.
The unit and its crew will be on hand at Lafayette Animal Aid's Bark in the Park on Sunday, October 25th, in Girard Park.