September 8, 2011
The Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Wednesday assisted in the response to the wildfires sweeping across Bastrop County, Texas.
Texas Task Force-1, an urban search and rescue response team, called on VET to provide veterinary support for the force’s search and rescue dogs.
Lisa Howe, DVM, Ph.D., and Philippa Sprake, BVetMed, responded along with veterinary technicians Dana Whitaker, Karin Ponder and Lessa Block and senior veterinary students John Williams and Jaci Carriker.
Meanwhile, four other VET members joined the Texas Animal Health Commission to assess animal needs in affected areas. Wesley Bissett, DVM, Ph.D., Norberto Espitia, Ph.D., Glennon Mays, DMV, and fourth-year veterinary student Josh Shields worked with local veterinarians, the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Animal Health Commission to identify needs and develop a coordinated response, Dr. Bissett said.
The VET team redeployed today in increased numbers, according to Angela Clendenin, director of communications and public relations at the Texas A&M veterinary college. She did not know how many additional members were called into action.
VET, which formed in 2010, is designed to respond to official state requests for assistance with animal needs in disaster situations.
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