Louisiana Partnership Animal Responder Boot Camp
Registration & Course Information
Animal Responder Boot Camp Participant Information
April 16-20, 2018
The course goal is to train first responders, veterinarians, vet techs, humane
groups, animal science & veterinary students, and other animal care personnel
to work together to safely and effectively save animal lives without compromising human life.
Slack Water Rescue (ASAR & American Humane Instructors) – Thompson & Cary
Dates: Monday/Tuesday, April 16-17
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Description: Demonstration and participation exercises in and out of water including maneuvering Jon boats/Zodiac type
Location: OWL Ponds (meet at the Bunkhouse meeting room for short presentation
Equipment: Rescue helmet (with drain holes), whistle, old sneakers (not slip-on/off water shoes),
change of clothing,
Other: There will be a one-hour break for lunch both days. Lunch will be provided (thanks
Slack Water Class Participants: There will be a mix of classroom and water work. There is a swim test and there
practice drills. There will be jon boat & zodiac maneuver training in the ponds located at the OWL. Please bring your own
life vest if you have one. We will have several, but can’t promise that we will be able to accommodate everyone. You may
rent your own wet suit if you would like, however, this is not required. Wear a swim suit and bring changes of clothes and
your own towels. There will be dry suits available to rent if you want to ($200 for the 2-day rental from the instructors –
please let us know asap if you want to rent a dry suit). There will be scenarios with both props and live animals on day 2.
Wear old tennis shoes for water work (no flip flops or slip on/off swim shoes).
Large Animal Handling & Technical Rescue (LSU-SVM, LSU-Ag Ctr, La Tech Instructors)
Dates: Wed/Thurs. April 18/19
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Description: Mix of classroom, demonstration and exercise participation – Large Animal Handling/Herding; Technical Rescue
Techniques: (Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses); Focus on Safety
Location: The OWL Bunkhouse meeting room, equine arena, La Tech Farm (Tech South campus)
Equipment: Long pants, boots or closed-toe shoes, rescue/response helmet, leather gloves, sun protection, bottled water or canteen, notepad and pen for taking notes
Other: There will be a one-hour break for lunch both days. Lunch will be provided (thanks to generous sponsorship). On Wed., Dinner will be served promptly at 6:30 PM in the OWL Conference Center and will include a presentation/discussion by La Tech & LSU-SVM Instructors and Industry Partner Veterinarians – 2 hrs. CE provided
Pet Evacuation and Shelter Training (American Humane & LSU-Vet Med Instructors - Staubus & Littlefield
Date: Friday, April 20
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 pm
Location: OWL Bunk House (alternative location – Conference Center)
Location: The Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center; Dubach, LA
Cost: The Louisiana Partnership Sponsorships and participant registration covers the costs of meals and lodging in the bunkhouse; rustic cabins are available at $10/person/night extra.
Lodging in the bunkhouse (or cabins): Each participant must supply their own linens/sleeping bag, pillow, towels, and toiletries. Bunkhouse & Cabins will be available beginning Sunday afternoon (April 15) after 3 PM. Guests are responsible for picking up trash, and maintaining the facility. Campfires are allowed in designated areas only unless there is a burn ban in effect. Before leaving (or going to bed) fires must be put out. Please do not use the round log seats as firewood. In case of emergency a telephone is located in the kitchen at the main pavilion. Emergency numbers and driving directions to medical facilities are posted at the bunkhouse, pond, and main pavilion.
For more information:
Meals: Meals will be provided for course instructors, assistants, and participants beginning at breakfast on April 16 and running through lunch on April 20th. Breakfasts will be continental style fruit/cereal/yogurt/breakfast bars etc. for the most part. (i.e., please don’t count on hot meals at breakfast). Please let us know ASAP if you will NOT be joining us for provided meals during your course so we can manage costs as efficiently as possible (Rmcconn@latech.edu). Meals will be served in the Bunkhouse meeting room/porch area unless otherwise stated.
*We recommend that anyone planning to work in animal rescue purchase a safety helmet. A good quality helmet suitable for vertical climbing, water rescue and large animal response is the Petzl Elios climbing helmet or Petzl Vertex technical response helmet or MANTA SAR helmets (https://www.future-safety.com/manta-multi-role-sar-helmet/). All are available on line from multiple vendors.
Slack Water Training - Josh Cary is the National Director of Operations for American
Humane’s Rescue Team. He responds to a variety of disasters both natural and man-made
as the Team Lead for Red Star and has filled many positions throughout, from the field
to shelter and as Ops Section Chief, with over 35 incidents in the past 8 years including
the Aug 2016 Louisiana Floods. When not deployed he is the Chair of the National Animal
Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), Co- Chair of the Animal Search and Rescue
(ASAR) Best Practice Working Group (BPWG), an Instructor for American Humane Rescue’s
Basic Animal Emergency Services class, Disaster Sheltering for Companion Animals,
ASAR’s Technical Classes. He also takes care of the Colorado fleet and equipment cache,
coordinates resources with the 4 additional regions. He is a member of Douglas County (Colorado) Search and Rescue. Trained in Search, Technical High/ Low Angle and Winter Rope Rescue, Avalanche, Swift Water, and Wildland Fire Rescue, Animal Handling, and Forensics. He lives in Colorado with his Wife, Son, 2 dogs, and cat and enjoys running, paddle boarding, and the outdoors.
Slack Water Training - Eric Thompson is a graduate of Kansas University with a B.G.S.
in Environmental Science and graduated the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center
with his Police commission. Currently Eric is working as the national Director of
Disaster Response for Code 3 Associates; and serves as the Chair position for the
National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC). Eric also teaches and provides
technical large animal rescue operations for the Emergency Equine Response Unit (EERU)
based in Kansas City. Eric is certified as a Swiftwater and Technical Rope Rescue
Technician and also in water, mud, rock, ice, fire and trailer rescues of animals.
Eric has received over 25 certificates of achievement from FEMA in regards to disaster
response and planning; and is working with several States as a disaster planning consultant
by incorporating animal related operations into existing Emergency Support Functions.
Eric also instructs technical small Animal Search and Rescue classes (Swiftwater/Flood
Ops/Ropes) that meet new NFPA
1670 guidelines for Fire departments and first responders. For more information on ASAR or large animal training please go to www.eerular.org. And for disaster response information visit www.code3associates.org; and www.narsc.net Large Animal Handling and Technical Rescue - Dr. Rebecca S. McConnico, Professor, Agricultural Sciences, Louisiana Tech University. Dr. McConnico is originally from north central Ohio, where she lived for 18 years. She obtained her BS in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas, her DVM from Louisiana State University, and her PhD and clinical residency in large animal internal medicine from North Carolina State University. She is board certified in Large Animal Internal Medicine and her clinical interests include equine critical care, internal medicine, and integrative therapies. Dr. McConnico is integrally involved in the development of the LSU-School of Veterinary Medicine’s and Louisiana Tech University’s Animal Disaster Program, a training and response program based on community engagement which hinges
on growing partnerships with Louisiana colleges and universities, non-government groups, and state and federal government entities.
Large Animal Handling and Technical Rescue - Cindy Meeker, Professional Farrier. Cindy is a certified farrier and member of the American Farrier’s Association. She is originally from Lake Charles, La. and attended McNeese State University majoring in Animal Science with an equine concentration. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School, held a Millwright Apprenticeship and graduated as a Journeyman farrier. She is FEMA certified in numerous IC courses and has been involved in the LSU-LSART Partnership training and response course since 2007. She is trained in slack water rescue, ropes, and animal search and rescue in addition to technical large animal rescue. Notable disaster response activities include Hurricane’s Gustav and Isaac, 2009 horse rescue in W. Monroe, LA, the 2010 BP oil spill at Ft. Jackson rehabilitation station for oiled birds, and numerous smaller scale responses. She was an equine health care technician with the LSU-School of Veterinary Medicine from 2006-2009.
Large Animal Handling and Technical Rescue - Dr. Mustajab Mirza, is an assistant professor of veterinary medicine specializing in equine critical care and surgery. He has been an active animal responder through LSART and the LSUSVM LSART partnership. His expertise is in equine surgery (especially colic and long bone fractures). Dr. Mirza was a strike team responder for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Isaac, and the 2009 Ouachita River Flood, and most recently, the Great Flood of 2016. He has responded to numerous vehicular accidents, and participates as an instructor in LSU-SVM & Louisiana Tech Disaster Training and Response Program.
Large Animal Handling and Technical Rescue - Dr. Neely (Heidorn) Walker, Equine Extension Specialist, LSU AgCenter. Dr. Walker is the equine extension specialist for the state of Louisiana, and is involved in education and outreach for youth and adult equine programs. She is trained in emergency response and is involved with revitalizing the Louisiana Equine Council. She leads the Master Horseman Program for the LSU Ag Center and is an avid horseman.
Large Animal Handling - Dr. Laura Gentry is an Associate Professor of Equine Science
in the School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry at Louisiana Tech University.
She received her PhD in Equine Nutrition and Reproductive Physiology at Louisiana
State University and worked in the School of Animal Sciences at LSU for 17 years before
coming to Tech. In addition to teaching courses in Equine Science, Dr. Gentry has
taught general Animal Science as well as Pre-Veterinary Medicine courses. She is the
advisor to the Equestrian Club, the Rodeo Club and the Stock Horse Team at LA Tech.
She has an extensive background with horses and spent several years assisting with
the Master Horseman Program both while at LSU and LA Tech. She is currently the President
of the Cotton Country Open Horse Show
Association, hosting horse shows at the Ruston Expo Center throughout the year.
Large Animal Handling and Technical Rescue - Dr. Matt Welborn, DVM, MPH, Dipl. American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine, is a Professor of Food Animal Medicine, LSU-School of Veterinary Medicine. He received his MPH with the University of Tennessee in 2005, DVM from Louisiana State University in 1987 and trained in a residency program in Food Animal/Production Medicine Residency, Louisiana State University, 1990. Dr. Welborn has actively participated in disaster response activities in Louisiana including the Great Flood of 2016. He regularly participates as an instructor in LSU-SVM Disaster Training and Response Program.
Pet Evacuation and Shelter Training – Martha A. Littlefield, DVM, MS, CVA is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anatomy in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a 1978 graduate of Louisiana Tech University (Animal Science) and finished her veterinary degree at LSU in 1982. She practiced at a small animal practice in Baton Rouge before returning to LSU as an instructor for sixteen years. She was employed for nine years at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. As a founder of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, she was ready to respond to various disasters that have occurred in the state, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav. She helped shaped legislation to encourage people to evacuate with their pets (Act 615). She returned to LSU to teach in 2011. She is married to the former Federal Veterinarian for the area, Dr. Joel Goldman.
Pet Evacuation and Shelter Training – Dr. Lesa Staubus, from the national humane organization, American Humane. Dr. Staubus is a veterinarian with a multitude of response and training experiences including working with the National Welfare Organization as a lead veterinarian in deployments with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and with the PTSD service dog program for veterans. Dr. Staubus is a national speaker and spokesperson and has delivered multiple courses in disaster planning and preparedness. She is a response partner with Louisiana and has played a critical role in building community resilience and response.
Sponsors for meals & the Boot Camp (so far) include:
AAEP Foundation, American Humane, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Louisiana Tech University