As equine and livestock owners and professionals we should ALWAYS want to be a moment too soon rather than a moment too late… This can pertain to dietary needs, medical intervention, emergency preparedness and prevention, or even euthanasia.
WE SHOULD ALL PLAY THE “WHAT IF…?” GAME ON A DAILY BASIS WHEN DEALING WITH HORSES AND OTHER LIVESTOCK.
If we always ask “what if…?” and answer those questions by taking steps to prevent situations from occurring or prepare for those situations if they should happen, the overall outcome may turn out better than it would have had you not taken preventative measures or prepared to handle the situation as it played out.
EQUINE AND LIVESTOCK TRANSPORT –
What if… a tire blows?
What if… my horse goes down in the trailer during transport?
What if… we are involved in an accident?
What if… my vehicle starts smoking or catches fire?
What if… I am at a horse show and leave my horse on the trailer with the window down and my horse jumps through the window and gets stuck?
What if… I am traveling at night and all the lights on the trailer go dark?
What if… my truck / SUV breaks down during a transport and I have one or more horses on the trailer in a location I am not familiar with?
What if… I have to layover somewhere with my horses and upon my arrival the owner of the facility doesn’t review or ask to see any health records, Coggins test, or Health Certificate and there are other horses laying over a the same facility?
MEDICAL MANAGEMENT -
What if… my horse presents with a severe laceration that is bleeding profusely?
What if… my horse shows signs of colic?
What if… its 2AM and my horse impales itself with a fence post?
What if… my horse has a condition (emergency or non-emergency) that I can not physically, mentally, or financially afford to treat?
What if… my horse is really uncoordinated at the walk, falls down and has trouble getting back up, and needs somewhere safe to wait until the vet arrives?
What if… my horse is foaling and is having a difficult labor?
BARN AND FACILITY / STABLING –
What if… my horse becomes cast in its stall?
What if… my neighbors stallion gets loose and gets into the pasture with my mares?
What if… my horse tries to jump out of the stall and gets stuck on the half-door with its head and front legs on one side and its hind legs on the other?
What if… my barn catches fire?
What if… my horse reaches over the door and plays with the door latch or electrical cord?
What if… my farm begins to flood due to torrential rains from a hurricane?
What if… a nearby control burn of a hunting preserve gets out of control and is heading toward my farm?
What if… my facility is without electricity and running water for days or weeks due to a natural disaster?
What if… its 3AM and a vehicle crashes through 100ft of fence for the only pasture on my farm where all the horses reside?
EUTHANASIA / DEATH -
What if… my horse breaks his leg in the pasture and the closest vet is over an hour away?
What if… a tree lands on a section of pasture fence and my horse gets out and is hit by a vehicle and critically injured and suffering?
What if… a tornado hits the area, vets are unable to access my farm due to down trees and power lines, and I have multiple horses with life-threatening or life-ending injuries?
What if… I found my horse deceased when going to feed in the morning?
What if… I discovered a boarder’s/client’s horse with a severe injury and obviously suffering with no vet available to respond?
AND MANY MORE “WHAT IFs”!
Again, it all comes down to PREVENTION and PREPAREDNESS.
If you want to know how you should handle any of the above “what ifs” just ask or attend one of our educational presentations or training courses!
A lot of people get “lucky” and never experience an incident or “what if” moment and its those people who usually say “I’ve owned horses / livestock for over 30-years and never had that happen so why should I worry about it now”… Not everyone is going to be so “lucky” and it’s the animals that belong to those people who often pay the price for the owner (or caretaker, transporter, etc.) not having taken measures to prevent an incident from happening or being prepared to handle the situation quickly, safely, and successfully when it does occur.
It should NEVER take the occurrence of an actual (animal involved) incident to make people recognize the need to become more educated about that specific incident type or other emergency situations.
For Example: Somebody is involved in a trailer accident caused by the trailer not being properly hitched resulting in the trailer overturning and trapping injured horses then in the weeks to follow that person, their horse-owner friends, and other community horse people want to have lessons on hitching trailers, driving (forward and reverse) trailers, and trailer safety and transportation.
For Example: A local boarding facility has a barn fire caused by embers falling from a neighbors controlled burn of yard debris and they manage to evacuate 6 our of the 10 horses in the barn then in the weeks to follow that person and other horse people want to have the fire department visit and look at their barn/facility, want to have the electrician out to check the wiring (that hasn’t been updated or checked in years), calls an alarm company to check into fire alarm installation, and consults with a subject-matter expert about creating an emergency evacuation plan.
For Example: Someone’s horse falls through the ice covering a deep pond and drowns and in the weeks to follow that person and other horse and livestock owners research ways they could have rescued the horse, talk to the local fire/rescue department about their capability, equipment, and training, and fence off the area around the pond.
All the examples mentioned above could have been prevented if people would have educated themselves and taken preventative measures before the emergency incident occurred. However, some incidents are truly accidents and can’t be prevented, but the way a person (or people) respond can often be the difference between life and death so one should be prepared and know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it safely, properly, and efficiently.
Educate yourself NOW to prevent and prepare for the incidents of tomorrow… We would rather a person be proactive and get educated, participate in a safety consultation, and take action too soon than to be “that” person who says “I wish I knew what to do”, “I wish I would have known what I could have done to prevent this from happening”, or “I should have responded differently” when it's already too late to make a difference for the animals and people who were involved.
Be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE!
Information on Large Animal Emergency Rescue Response Teams, Training Organizations, Equipment and Supplies, Books, References, and other Resources
The recognition of the importance of safe large animal rescue is quickly growing. The prevailing attitude of large animal owners, whose animals are often pets or a large financial investment, is to demand the safe rescue and treatment of their large animals in emergency situations. Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue is a guide for equine, large animal, and mixed animal veterinarians, zoo and wildlife veterinarians, vet techs, and emergency responders on how to rescue and treat large animals in critical situations while maintaining the safety of both the animal and the rescuer. This book is a must have reference for any individual who deals with large animals in emergency situations.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA - COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
This course contains information about techniques used for Animal Technical Rescue, including understanding scene size-up, recognizing the need for technical rescue, identifying necessary resources and determining how to obtain them, demonstrating equipment identification, recognizing the hazards associated with animal technical rescue, and describing the methods for mitigating these hazards. The course addresses topics covered by NFPA Standards 1670-17 and 1006-17.
The educational courses through FEMA Independent Study online are free. If you have an interest in assisting with animal rescue operations, emergency response and assistance in disaster areas, or how to communicate with emergency responders on an incident scene we highly recommended that you take the following online training courses and print the certificate of completion:
Provides specialized training and response to first responders on both small and large technical animal rescue, floodwater and swift water animal rescue, and more. They provide animal welfare rescue services and are available for deployment to natural disaster areas and large scale animal rescue operations.
Professional animal disaster response and resources.
To promote the safe extrication of large animals from various situations (barn fires, trailer wrecks, trapped in mud, loose on the road, etc.) and promote responders' safety when an incident results in dispatch.
ASPCA provides response and assistance to agencies with response to natural disaster areas and large scale animal cruelty cases. Training in aspects of animal cruelty investigations, emergency preparedness, and natural disaster response can be obtained online and in a classroom setting.
Volunteer with the HSUS Animal Rescue Team for assistance with animal cruelty investigation cases, large scale animal related rescue operations, and natural disaster deployments.
Quick reference guide for humane field euthanasia of livestock, wildlife, and other animals complete with written instructions, diagrams of landmarks, and more...
ASAR Floodwater and Boat Ops is a minimum 2-day operations level course designed to apply both slack water and moving water boat operations with small animal capture and containment techniques. An additional day of low angle knots and ropes can be added to the curriculum as an option to meet NFPA Surface Water Rescue guidelines. This training is provided through both hands-on and classroom instruction.
This floodwater animal rescue class blends NFPA 1670 operational skills for swiftwater rescue, surface water rescue, rope rescue, and technical animal rescue for application in a flood response. Training will also meet the criteria for Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) team training guidelines referenced in National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) ASAR best practice work group white paper; and the Southern Agriculture and Animal Disaster Response Alliance (SAADRA) ASAR Resource Typing.
ASAR Swiftwater is a 3-day ASAR Technician level course designed to apply self rescue, team rescue, and animal rescue field skills in a moving water environment. SRT-1 human rescue skills are adapted to animal rescue scenarios to provide a "tool-kit" of rescue options in a disaster scenario. This training is provided through both hands-on and classroom instruction.
This swiftwater animal rescue training class blends NFPA 1670 operational skills for swiftwater rescue and technical animal rescue for application in a flood response. ASAR Swiftwater will also meet the criteria for Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) team training guidelines referenced in National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) ASAR best practice work group white paper; and the Southern Agriculture and Animal Disaster Response Alliance (SAADRA) ASAR Resource Typing.
This is a combination of classroom lessons and hands-on shore-based swift water rescue course for initial arriving fire companies to a swift/flood water emergencies; covering multiple rescue tactics and techniques for swift water incidents. Participants will learn progressive, safe and effective rescue strategies from the simple to the most complex. The course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of rescuer positioning and rescue techniques for multiple situations and circumstances based on actual incidents.
This class blends NFPA 1670 operational skills for swiftwater rescue, surface water rescue, and technical small animal rescue for application in a flood response. The class will also meet the criteria for FEMA Resource Typing Swiftwater/Flood Search & Rescue Technician-Animal Rescue Specialist. The class will start with a 2-hour classroom session to cover all the topics required and then break for an early lunch and meet at the field location. The rest of the afternoon will be field practicals and rescue scenarios. The focus on the class will be small animal applications but we will discuss in length large animal scenarios as it seems to be more and more common.
ASAR Boat Operations - Large Animal Specialist is an advanced 8-hour training course designed to focus on challenges experienced with moving large animals in both slack water and moving water. **This training is only available to USAR and Task Force teams; or personnel that have completed the ASAR Floodwater/Boat Operations training. This is an advanced course and requires skilled boat operators for participation. This training is provided through both hands-on and classroom instruction.
Animal Ice Rescue Operations (AIRO) is a 1.5 day or 2.5 day (Ropes day included) operations level course designed to provide first responder animal ice rescue training with a focus on both small and large animal rescue applications. This training is provided through both hands-on and classroom instruction.
This 8-10 hour class is an overview of all the information you will need to know to have a successful Evacuation Team or be a member of a successful team. The class includes both lecture and hands on instruction.
Four different training classes:
"Pre-Hospital Envenomation and Field Response" - 8 Hours
"Venomous or Non-Venomous Identification" - 4-Hours
"Disasters and Wildlife, Exotic and Indigenous" - 8-Hours
"Trauma for Animal Responders" - 8 Hours
The ASAR Ropes and Rigging course is designed to apply in both wilderness and urban situations. Whether you are rappelling into a basement, enclosure or rigging for a victim raise out of a drainage area; this class focuses on the skills needed to rig safely for rescue. Day 1 starts with basic knots and continues with progressive and redundant rigging applications; and ends on day 4 with working high angle companion animal rescue scenarios. Participants in this training should have basic ropes and rigging knowledge to work in this fast-paced learning environment.
The Exotic Animal Strike Team (EAST) program was started in 2018 as the need for exotic specialists in structured disaster response was identified as a response necessity. ASAR and ZAHP Fusion Center continue to network and identify resource partners that may be interested in working to create EAST responders; with the goal being to bring disaster training to exotic facilities so they are better prepared to help themselves and each other when needed. The larger application is for this training to be widely used and eventually added to FEMA resource typing so EAST teams have a direct link with Emergency Management and Community Planning and response. EAST responders can participate at many different levels during response including:
The ASAR Heavy Extrication division specializes in technical rope rescue applications with animals weighing over 3000 lbs. Our main focus is to provide assistance and training to facilities with large exotic animals. In addition, prototype tools and rescue equipment are routinely developed to help solve problems encountered by animal handlers and first responders to these XXL operations.
The ASAR Heavy Extrication division is available to all types of exotic, wildlife, and large animal facility for consultation, training, and response.
Heavy Extrication training provides both low angle rope rescue training with raising and lowering sling applications. This training is a basic requirement for EAST team members for both in-house response teams and ride-out disaster response and support resources. This class is 1.5 days and can focus on one or multiple species applications.
Large Animal Rescue Operations (LARO) is a 2-day operations level course that encompasses aspects of large animal technical rescue; and focuses on the ropes and rigging skills that may be applied in various situations. This large animal rescue training includes both hands-on and classroom instruction. The Large Animal Rescue Operations class includes practicing rescue scenarios, use of lift mechanisms and a Becker Sling and the use of a life-sized, weighted horse mannequin with articulating limbs.
Slip Knot - Simple loop in rope's end, loosens when tail end is pulled.
Form a loop in the end of the rope. Prepare a bight in the short end. Tuck the bight through the loop and tighten. The knot can be used as temporary stopper knot.
Overhand Knot - The simplest of single strand stopper knots.
Form a loop and pass the end through it. Tighten it to form the Overhand Knot. When pulled tight it can function as a simple stopper knot.
Sheet Bend Knot - Joins two ropes of unequal, or similar, size.
Form a bight in the thicker rope (blue) and hold it in one hand. Pass the thinner rope (red) through the bight and behind the (blue) tail and standing ends in that order. Finally, tuck the smaller rope under itself to finish the knot.
Half Hitch - Used to tie a rope around an object and back to itself.
Form a loop around the object. Pass the end around the standing end and through the loop. Tighten into a Half Hitch which is designed to take a load (Arrow) on the standing end.
Clove Hitch - Simple "weak" hitch to attach rope to a pole or ring.
Form a loop in the working end of the rope. Place it over the post. Form a second loop identical to the first. Place it over the post and tighten.
Figure 8 Knot - Non-binding, quick and convenient stopper knot.
Pass the tail over itself to form a loop. Continue under and around the standing end. Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop.
Figure 8 Bend - Secure, simple method for joining two ropes.
The knot is dressed so that both the outermost turns are separated away from the two ropes they were crossing and tightened down inside their neighboring ropes.
Figure 8 Follow Through - Links to closed ring by re-threading technique.
Start by tying a loose Figure 8 knot. Pass the tail around the attachment point. Follow the original Figure 8 around the entire knot in reverse. Exit beside the standing end to complete a two stranded Figure 8 knot.
Figure 8 Double Loop - Stable double loop in the middle of a piece of rope.
With a long bight in the rope use two double loops to tie a Figure 8 knot. Then pass the end of the original bight under, up, and over the whole knot. Pull it tight to lock the two loops.
Handcuff Knot - Can be used as a rescue chair or animal restraint.
Use the rope to form two identical loops. Overlap them as though tying a Clove Hitch. Then thread each loop through the other loop and tighten. Insert the victim's limbs into the loops, tighten, and apply traction.
Butterfly Loop Knot - Secure loop in the middle of a length of rope.
Wrap the rope around your hand twice. At the end of turn one, position the rope close to your fingertips. Continue around and complete turn two back near your thumb. Pick up the turn near your fingertips.
Wrap it around the other two turns. Slide the knot off your hand and tighten by pulling on the loop and the ends.
Double Fishermans Knot - Securely joins two ropes of similar size.
Overlap the two ends. Wrap one end around both ropes two full turns. Then pass this end back through these turns and pull tight. Next pass the other end two full turns around both ropes. Pass this end back through and pull tight. Pull on both ropes to tighten the two knots against each other. The back view of the Double Fisherman's is extremely neat and symmetrical. When ropes of the same color are used, it appears that four identical loops encircle the junction.
Prusik Loop - Symmetrical 3-turn slide and grip (friction) knot.
Use a piece of cord formed into a loop. Pass the knot around the rope three times inside the loop. Make sure the turns lie neatly beside each other and pull the knot tight.
Square Knot - Simple way to join two ropes made up of two half-knots.
Take two ropes and cross them (red over blue) to form a half knot. Cross them a second time (red over blue again) and pull the ends tight to form the Square Knot.
Bowline Knot - Reasonably secure loop in a rope's end and easy to undo.
Form a small loop leaving enough rope for the desired loop size. Pass the end of the rope through the loop as though making an overhand knot. Continue around the standing end and then back through the small loop.
Halter Hitch (Quick Release Knot) - Quick release knot commonly used to secure a horse.
Start with a safety Baling-String loop. Pass the rope through the string loop, across in front, and then behind both strands to form a Rope-Loop. Pass a Bight through the Rope-Loop to make the Knot. For security pass the tailend through the Bight.
Water Knot - Joins two pieces of webbing strapping by re-threading.
Tie a loose overhand knot in the end of the strap. Thread the other strap in the reverse direction following the exact path of the first overhand knot. Pull the knot tight.
Girth Hitch - Uses a webbing loop sling to attach an item to a harness or other equipment.
Pass the loop of the strap around the harness, strap, or rope. Thread the other end of the strap through the loop. Make sure the strap lies neatly and then pull it tight.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE AMOUNT OF ROPE NEEDED TO MOVE AN ANIMAL:
?-Feet Distance to Move the Animal (raised/lowered/dragged)
x (multiply by) the Number of Returns (Reeves) through the entire Pulley System
+ (add) 1 for the single Haul Line
+ (add) 4-Feet Allowance for the Hardware in System
= (equals) Total Amount of Rope (Feet) Needed to Move the Animal (raise/lower/drag) ?-Feet Distance
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Behavior-Specialist (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Care-and-Handling-Specialist (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Control_Humane-Officer (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Decontamination-Specialist (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Emergency-Response-Team-Leader (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Evacuation,-Transport,-and-Re-Entry-Team (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Intake-and-Reunification-Specialist (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Search-and-Rescue-Team (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Animal-Search-and-Rescue-Technician (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Companion-Animal-Decontamination-Team (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Swiftwater_Flood-Search-and-Rescue-Technician---Animal-Rescue-Specialist (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Veterinarian (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Veterinary-Assistant (pdf)Download
FEMA Resource Typing - Veterinary-Medical-Team (pdf)Download
4HLAS Facility / Farm ICE Form (pdf)Download
4HLAS In Case of Emergency (ICE) / Limited Power Of Attorney (POA) for Animal Healthcare Form (pdf)Download
4HLAS In Case of Emergency (ICE) / Limited Power Of Attorney (POA) Form for Non-Owner Transport (pdf)Download
4HLAS In Case of Emergency (ICE) / Limited Power Of Attorney (POA) Form for Owner / Agent Transport (pdf)Download
4HLAS Limited Power of Attorney for Animal Healthcare (pdf)Download
4HLAS Facility / Farm Fire Prevention Checklist (pdf)Download
4HLAS Facility / Farm Emergency Pre-Plan Info (pdf)Download
4HLAS Large Animal First Aid Kit (pdf)Download
4HLAS Basic On-Hand LAR Equipment List (pdf)Download
4HLAS LAR Guidelines and Equipment List (pdf)Download
4HLAS Resource List Recommendations (pdf)Download
4HLAS Trailer / Transportation Incident Response Guidelines (pdf)Download
Equine Vital Signs (pdf)Download
Accidental Hypothermia Considerations in Large Animal Rescue (pdf)Download
4HLAS Hurricane Evacuation and Emergency Preparedness Recommendations (pdf)Download
Disaster Preparedness Info (pdf)Download
Basic Concepts in HazMat Decon for Large Animals (pdf)Download
Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines (pdf)Download
Equine Health Check List (pdf)Download
"Golden Hour" of Large Animal Rescue (pdf)Download
Guide to Managing Risks when New and Inexperienced Persons Interact with Horses (pdf)Download
Safe Handling of Large Animals (pdf)Download
Horse Examination Guidelines (pdf)Download
Equine Sedation, Anesthesia, and Analgesia (pdf)Download
Equine Field Anesthesia (pdf)Download
AVMA Guidelines for Euthanasia of Animals (pdf)Download
Procedures for Humane Euthanasia of Livestock (pdf)Download
Rope Rescue / Rigging - Knot Strength (pdf)Download
Rope Rescue / Rigging - Knot and Cord Strength (pdf)Download
Guide to Trailer Tying (pdf)Download
Barbara Poole, DVM (859) 227-1453
Rob Chase / Kim Krivit, DVM (910) 308-6543
Rachael Salter (251) 401-6228
Dr. Bryan and Diane Buss (402) 362-5439
Park Ranger Office (410) 398-1246
Office (540) 464-2950
Mary Potter (703) 856-6003
Todd Johnson (540) 955-4099
Iona Pillion (540) 837-2284 / (540) 539-5215
Kelly Sigler Patterson (803) 522-4395
Marie (931) 619-0773
Jordan Grossman (706) 833-0278
Carolyn (631) 369-8325
Nicky Buckingham, Owner (404) 664-7019