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The HSUS National Conference on Animals in Disaster in Sacramento, CA was wonderful. With nearly 30 breakout sessions and workshops, this year's NCAD offered record learning opportunities. Attendees could choose between classes geared toward emergency response, preparedness and planning or veterinary and medical issues. The classes covered topics ranging from volunteer and resource management to large animal rescue and psychological first aid techniques. Over 400 animal response specialists, emergency managers, government officials, veterinarians and volunteers from British Columbia to Puerto Rico networked, taught, learned, and ate scrumptious vegan meals. Allan Schwartz of HSUS, and Deb and John Fox, of Felton, CA, talked about Large Animal Rescue; and the all-day animal first aid class covered horses as well.

Other LAR people in attendance: Tim Collins, Michelle Staples – and Jerry Floyd wowed 'em with his Anderson Sling and other rescue products. If I missed you at the conference, let me know your thoughts on it for next month's newsletter. The day after the conference, at the Western States Horse Expo – also in Sacramento, the Foxes demonstrated how to safely remove and drag a horse trapped in a pipe fence.

Jeff Galloway's Barn Fire Safety video is close to being ready. A must for all horse people! www.emergencytrainingsystems.com You can catch Jeff on WPTV from West Palm Beach, Florida

Rebecca and Tomas Gimenez'es book,Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, is now available at www.BlackwellVet.com. Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue is a guide for equine, large animal, and mixed animal veterinarians, zoo and wildlife veterinarians, veterinary technician, 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. 432 Pages . 8.5 x 11 . Hardback . $124.99

Jennifer Woods wants you to know that The Animal Transportation Association (AATA) has introduced a new animal transportation magazine for those concerned with and actively involved in the transport of live animals. The AATA consists of members around the world that are actively involved or concerned about the safe and humane transport of all types of animals by road, air and sea. The magazine, Migrations, A Publication for the Safe & Humane Transportation of Animals, debuted at AATA's conference in Dresden, Germany May 18 to 21, 2008 and represents the animal transportation industry's first magazine. To get your complimentary copy of this brand new publication, go to: https://www.aata-animaltransport.org/migrations/subscribe.htm

With its first year anniversary approaching this month, Kentucky Large Animal Emergency Response Team (KLAER), a 501(c) non-profit organization, has received a grant for $10,000 from the Kentucky Horse Council to pursue its goal in providing emergency response to horses and other large animals involved in situations causing pain, serious injury, or even death. KLAER is a solid organization, recognized by the state of Kentucky with highly trained, passionate members willing to volunteer their time 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. For more information, go to http://www.kyanimalresponse.org/

This is a long story from Jennifer Woods, but worth the read! Reminds you why we do this work! Thanks, Jennifer.

Hi Jennifer.

Last week we were called for a horse rescue in Campbell Valley park. A rider had been moving along a trail at a walk when the horse spooked. The trail is a good solid well-packed route, but has a five-foot steeply sloped drop off at the edge. The horse found that edge and tumbled down the embankment throwing the rider. Unfortunately at the bottom of the embankment is a swamp.

Panicked, confused, the horse stood up and was immediately on bad ground and so it began plunging into the bush, unfortunately the "Bush" consisted of skunk cabbage and light brush over top of ever-deepening mud. By the time the rider got to the horse it was past its knees and getting more and more panicked the less it could move.

The rider and horse struggled for the better part of an hour trying to extricate themselves before finally giving up and calling us.

When we got there, the horse was about fifty yards into the swamp and up to its chest in mud. as you well know, I'm not a "Horse person" but having been a boxer, I know fighters, and I took one look at this poor fellow and knew this was a beaten fighter, he had given up and was blown out. I knew we weren't gonna get any help from him so we had about a thousand or so pounds of dead weight to move and had ropes, blocks, and straps to do it, and about a dozen Firefighters.

We managed to squeeze our response vehicle down the trail. We had a vet there, animal control, and, including me, two of your students in the FD.

We decided on the "WWJD" approach (What Would Jennifer Do?)

We wrapped the horse's upper body (under the armpits) with a wide strap and shackled it to accept a snatch block. We had to move the horse around a tree so the pull needed to be done in three parts with two repositionings of the trail-side rope anchor. We used the truck as a mobile anchor point so that when we needed to pull from a different angle we could do this easily. The fact that the horse was exhausted was a blessing in disguise, we got the straps on easily and the horse just lay there while we skidded him out. The mud, that had been a big problem became a real blessing as he slid along quite easily once we got him moving. The only real problemn was the five-foot near-vertical raise we had to do. Fortunately we had a lot of manpower and rope. We kept the straps on his upper body and put another strap on his back end and lifted him horizontally (Mostly using brute force and ignorance) until we had him back on the trail. (You can get pictures from Jennifer)

Once on the trail he lay there for fifteen minutes or so and with some encouragement from his owner, he stood up and one very muddy, very tired and very embarrassed Tenessee walking horse walked the half-mile to the trail head.

I just wanted you to know that once again, your techniques ruled the day. Fortunately you had come out and taught members from not just our FD but our animal control department. In this case we were all "Speaking the same language" and the co-operation was excellent. The result was, once again, a good one.

A funny thing happened at the end of the whole thing. I'll never forget it. At the trail head, where the owner had wallked the horse to be met by his trailer. The horse stopped and turned to face back down the trail. It refused to move even though his owner was doing everything he could to turn him. That horse stood right there and faced back down the trail giving that low-pitched whinny-snort that they give when (for want of a better term) they're "talking" (I call it). My crew (My muddy and tired, but very proud crew) were walking down the trail behind him carrying all our gear. That horse stood its ground and would not move until each and every one of us had had its muddy nose rubbed on us and we had given him a pat. Only after I, the very last guy, had come down that trail and gotten his nose rubbed on me did that horse turn and walk into its trailer to go home.

Anyway, Jennifer's guys triumph again and a Tennessee walking horse that is much loved by his owner owes his life to you.

from: Bryant Ross, Township of Langley Fire Department, Langley BC


Oxygen masks for large animals – EraMask. These masks are produced in Australia, and I'm talking with the company now about marketing a basic version to emergency responders.


nothing new!


When you're shopping for rope for your "go bag", the term TENSILE STRENGTH will come up. What does it mean?

From Rope Inc. online: Interpretation of Rope Strength

One area of misunderstanding that needs to be brought to the surface is the proper interpretation of rope strength, appropriate usage and care. Let's start by defining two important terms: "tensile strength" and "working load".

Tensile strength is the average strength of new rope under laboratory conditions. This is determined by wrapping the rope around two large diameter capstans and slowly tensioning the line until it breaks.

The manufacturer's recommended working load is determined by taking the tensile strength and dividing it by a factor that more accurately reflects the maximum load that should be applied to a given rope to assure a comfortable safety margin and longevity of the line. Of course that factor varies with the type of fiber and the weaving construction. There are however always exceptions, most notably the fact that rope is susceptible to degradation and damage in numerous ways that are not controllable by the manufacturer.

It may surprise you to find out that the working load for most kinds of rope is between 15% and 25% of the tensile strength. Now consider the fact that any time you tie a knot in a rope you effectively cut the tensile strength in half. The knot when tensioned cuts the line. While certain kinds of knots damage the line less than others, the 50% loss of tensile strength is a good general rule to live by. Research has shown that the figure 8 knot reduces the tensile strength by approximately 35% instead of 50% for other common knots tested.

Another factor,when purchasing your new rope, is the fact that the animal could be thrashing. When that happens, the equipment gets what is called "shock loaded" meaning a great amount of force is being placed on the equipment all at once, not the slow, steady pull that the equipment is tested for.


Rebecca sent this along: A new manual from the U.S. Fire Administration , The Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS) Report is now online( report).

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration, working in partnership with the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), have developed a report that provides technical guidance and training programs in traffic incident management for fire and emergency service providers.

OUR SOCIETY AT LARGE(and other miscellaneous stuff)

The best quote to come out of the HSUS conference: "A horse's goal in life is to commit suicide."

Laurie Loveman has been in hospital again. While "incarcerateed", Laurie wrote an article for www.infohorse.com. She feels its a good venue as its growing very fast. I'm sure everyone joins me in sending hugs to Laurie from the LAR world!

Rick Tobin, Host of Road to Ready on VoiceAmerica every Friday at noon, Pacific Time sent an email saying:

Just to let you know, I liked your book on Horse Rescue so much I'm going to mention in the the "Something Good" section of Show 10 (June 27th). 14 years ago I couldn't get fire folks to listen about not just throwing a rope around a horse's neck (or even worse, one of their legs) and then pulling on them. It's taken a lot of good horse groups to turn that around. There were also some really bad tapes out early on that had just horrible advice. I still have one of those which I pull out when I want to make horse owners shudder.

The thing about emergency management is that it changes, but glacially, a few inches a year. People who have the advantage of improvements today just assume they were always there – and forget about the pioneers going way back into the 50's and before. But in the end, the animals are the ones who benefit, and they don't care who invented the sling or did the training –they're just happy not to have their limbs torn out of their sockets.

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