AVC SCAVMA hosts workshop about animal rescue training techniques and opportunities

January 28, 2013

The Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) will host a one-day workshop about animal rescue techniques and training opportunities on Saturday, February 2, at AVC, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

“This hands-on workshop will provide participants with a basic understanding of the role of an animal rescue response team during a disaster and give them a taste of the training opportunities available for those interested in disaster response,” say SCAVMA vice-president and workshop chair Christie Yamazaki (AVC Class of 2014).

Presenters will include Dr. Carin Wittnich, leader of the Oceanographic Environmental Research Society’s (OERS) scientific and rescue initiatives; Michael Belanger, director of operations of OERS; Dr. Eric Koch, AVC Equine Ambulatory Services; Dr. Peter Foley, small animal internal medicine specialist at AVC; and Lora Wylie, an OERS board member who helped to rescue animals affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

“It is critical that training standards and practices be an essential part of any animal disaster response especially when calling upon volunteers for assistance,” says Belanger. “Professionals, such as veterinarians or veterinary technicians, should be aware that they need specialized training to assist during disasters.”

During the workshop, Wittnich and Belanger will lead a simulated emergency response exercise in which participants will learn about the skills needed and techniques used to rescue animals—in this case, stuffed animal toys—that are caught in disaster situations. The workshop is open to veterinarians, veterinary technicians and staff, veterinary students and emergency responders.

Space is limited for the exercise portion of the workshop. The registration fee includes a continental breakfast and light lunch. For more information or to register, please email avc.scavma@gmail.com.