Veterinary Emergency Team Deploys to Bastrop Wildfires
SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 - At the request of Texas Task Force-1
(TTF-1), a component of the Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) at the
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences (CVM) has deployed to the Bastrop wildfires Wednesday
morning. Drs. Lisa Howe and Philippa Sprake; veterinary technicians
Dana Whitaker, Karin Ponder and Lessa Block; and senior veterinary
students John Williams and Jaci Carriker joined TTF-1 to provide
veterinary support for the task force's search and rescue dogs.
In addition, Dr. Wesley Bissett, Dr. Norberto Espitia, Dr.
Glennon Mays, and fourth year veterinary student Josh Shields
traveled to the affected area to work with Texas Animal Health
Commission to assess animal needs as a result of the wildfires.
"We have worked throughout the day to determine what the
situation is with animals in the affected areas," said Bissett. "We
have had the opportunity to work with local veterinarians in the
area, representatives from the Texas Department of Emergency
Management, and the team from the Texas Animal Health Commission to
identify the most urgent needs for these animals and to develop an
appropriate and coordinated response."
From what was seen during today's assessment, officials are
still working to determine just how many more members of the VET
need to respond. That answer could come as early as this evening,
but potentially Thursday morning as first responders battle a
wildfire that continues to consume large amounts of acreage in the
The VET, which was formally unveiled in 2010, is a team that
consists of veterinary faculty, veterinary technicians, veterinary
students, and staff from the CVM that are deployable through
official requests from the state in response to animals in disaster
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