As an emergency preparedness measure, we gather information on veterinary resources along the travel route and record their contact information for quick reference in the event of an emergency. We also maintain a membership with USRider Motorist Assistance program which will help locate towing services, veterinarians, stabling facilities, alternate equine transportation, and more in the event of an emergency or mechanical issue.
Should the unexpected occur or an accident happen, we secure in the rear window of the trailer an "I-C-E" (In Case of Emergency) form and a "POA" (Limited Power of Attorney for Animal Care) form that are part of the comprehensive Transport Contract. The ICE form includes information on each equine (description, medical history, insurance information, approved medical expense limit, etc.), equine owner/agent, regular attending veterinarian, emergency transport contact, and emergency contacts in the event the owner/agent cannot be reached. This form can be used by emergency responders, veterinarians, or whoever will be in contact with the equine during an emergency to refer to for information so that arrangements for the equine can be made should the occupants of the towing vehicle be unable to communicate because of the accident. The "POA" form (Limited Power of Attorney for Animal Care) enables 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC in the event of an accident in which we are still able to communicate, to consult with the attending veterinarian and make decisions directly related to the equines medical care, on your behalf, within the constraints documented on the emergency forms, should we be unable to make contact in a timely manner. There is nothing worse than after an accident where the occupants of the vehicle are incapacitated or absent from the scene, the equine is left with nobody knowing who the owner is, who to notify, to what extent to authorize veterinary treatment versus euthanasia and by what authority are those decisions made, etc.
Our ICE and POA forms can be found for download on the "Resources and Files" page of this website.
We maintain constant contact with our clients (equine owners or authorized representatives) and if there is an emergency during the transport or we notice behaviors that are concerning or signs indicative of a potential medical issue we will notify the client or their emergency contact and formulate a plan. Most of these behaviors or signs are witnessed by monitoring the equines on our trailer camera system where we can observe them moving (anxious constant movement, kicking or biting at sides, pawing, etc.), eating, drinking, or hauling calm and comfortably. Depending on the situation, we will either locate a veterinary facility on the route or make arrangements to meet a veterinarian at the layover facility to evaluate the equine and treat as necessary. If we can not make contact with our client or their emergency contact, we will seek veterinary care for the equine within the guidelines documented in the Transport Contract and In Case of Emergency form. Continued attempts will be made to contact the client or emergency contact to notify them of the situation and the transport will proceed once the equine is cleared by the veterinarian to travel. The health, comfort, and overall well-being of the equines in our care are our top priority.
Image: Equine being evaluated by a veterinarian at a layover facility in Georgia due to a high-anxiety level for a long duration during the transport (had not been trailered in a long time) and a lack of water intake during the transport that day. The owner of the equine was notified prior to our arrival at the layover facility and arranged for a local veterinarian to meet there. The equine was prescribed some oral sedatives, ulcer preventative, and cleared to continue transport the following morning.