Skip Navigation

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 Bastrop area.

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 situations.

« Back to VET