Veterinarian recognized for pet emergency disaster planning, response, recovery work

Veterinarian recognized for pet emergency disaster planning, response, recovery work

Reneé Poirrier, D.V.M., recently received the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) Lifetime Achievement award for her long-term commitment and excellence in emergency preparedness. Through her role as the volunteer director of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), Poirrier, has served as an integral part of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) All Hazard Incident Management Team as a technical specialist since 2003.

LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., congratulated Poirier on the achievement.

“The people and pets of Louisiana are fortunate to have someone like Dr. Poirrier who has devoted countless hours lending her expertise during disasters,” Strain said. “She is steadfast in her commitment to caring for pets during disasters and there is no one more deserving of this award.”

As LSART director, Poirrier has responded to hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Isaac, Harvey and Michael as well as train derailments and several floods including the March and August 2016 Louisiana Floods. Poirrier developed a nationally recognized evacuation and sheltering manual and training which is now Louisiana’s standard for sheltering pets. Poirrier provides annual pet evacuation sheltering and safe pet handling training to the state’s responders: National Guard, US Coast Guard, Army Reserve Corp, local communities, fire departments and animal controls across the state to better prepare the state for disasters involving animals.

Under her direction LSART donated the state’s first mobile disaster pet shelter, providing a resource to support local sheltering. She continues to support every level of government, by developing and providing no-cost training, resources, subject matter experts and technical support necessary to successfully support the care and welfare of people with pets during emergencies.

Excerpted from the Louisana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Louisiana Market Bulletin, May 23, 2019 edition.  

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