In my travels around the country, I meet the most fascinating people, and I realize that there are so many programs that are being implemented to plan and assist animals (of all species, but including horses) in emergency situations. I would like to share a few of these with you in upcoming posts that will focus on equine disaster planning and response at local and regional levels.

The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service Team

This week I’d like to introduce John Haven, director of the University of Florida’s (UF) School of Veterinary Medicine. John and I met about 10 years ago. He was driven to improve his team’s response capabilities and provide training to their members. Since then he has taken the entire State Animal Response Team (SART) model as originally drafted by North Carolina, and pushed it to becoming a nationally known, cutting-edge program for other teams to consider modeling themselves after.

In a state that is well known for its horse evacuations, this is a wonderful thing.

In the beginning:

UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service team was a product of the response requirements placed on the college by the state during the devastating 2003 hurricanes. Despite having no dedicated equipment, team assignments, or training, John rallied volunteers and deployed to Hurricanes C