Disaster Preparedness | LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

Disaster Preparedness and Response

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s (SVM) Disaster Training and Response Program is a partnership with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) providing training and emergency response efforts for disaster situations where animals are involved. Course development over the past 10 years has focused on core skills including evacuation, technical large animal rescue, emergency management, shelter operations, slack water rescue, biosecurity, planning, and safety. Both introductory, awareness, and operational level courses are part of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s professional training for veterinary students and part of public education program for graduate veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other animal care personnel. Courses are often part of actual on-going emergency response situations in Louisiana such as Hurricane’s Gustav, Isaac, and individual animal rescues from floods or vehicular accidents.

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Southern Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines and surrounding areas, LSU SVM and LSART were well positioned to help and are now a go-to source nationally for animal response. Trainings are often coordinated along with local animal control agencies because they are the officials responsible for animals in a parish (or county). The training program puts students with local first responders such as firefighters and emergency services personnel to get hands-on training. The LSU SVM is one of the few veterinary schools to offer a robust training program in animal disaster response.

Our Team

Brandy Duhon, DVM (LSU SVM 2013), Instructor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Mustajab H. Mirza, MS, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Large Animal Operations, LSART

Neely Walker, PhD, Equine Specialist, LSU AgCenter

Renee Poirrier, DVM, CVA, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Private Practitioner, Acadiana Veterinary Clinic, Director, LSART

Cindy Meeker, Certified Farrier, CRM Farriery, Slaughter, LA, Logistics/Operations, LSART

Large-scale Responses

Tropical Storm Allison – 2001

Hurricane Ivan – 2004

Hurricanes Katrina & Rita – 2005

Hurricane Gustav – 2008

Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill - 2010

Mississippi River Rising – 2011

Hurricane Isaac - 2012

Great Louisiana Flood - 2016

Tornado Response - 2017

Hurricane Michael - 2018

Hurricane Laura - 2020


Your gifts can help our disaster preparedness programs (e.g., training) and rescue and care for animals after a disaster. #PowerofParticipation

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Animal Responders Train for the Next Big Storm on 10-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina


Give to the LSU SVM/LSART Partnership Designate funds for the LSU/LSART Disaster Support Fund