Veterinary Medicine Response Strike Team

Veterinary Response Strike Team memberTeam Leads: Vickie Skala, and Michelle Willette

Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary medicine students’ skills and experience make them a most valuable resource during public health disasters and emergencies impacting animals as well as humans. Potential Veterinary Medicine Response Strike Team deployment roles include, but are not limited to, vaccinating “at risk” animals, providing public information via a phone bank in conjunction with a local animal board of health, participating in disease investigation (surveillance/trace backs), depopulating farms and assisting with the sheltering of animals. Members of this strike team have the option of participating in public health emergencies affecting humans as logistics support personnel, vaccinators (dependent on training and licensure), ushers, or registration staff.

Veterinary Medicine Response Strike Team Deployment History

Iowa Floods, June/July 2008
In response to a request from the Iowa State Veterinarian via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the U of M MRC deployed 9 members of its Veterinary Medicine Response Strike Team to aid in the medical care of small companion animals housed in an animal rescue shelter following the severe flooding of the Cedar Rapids Iowa area. Three teams consisting of College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians and students were deployed for periods of 3 to 5 days. As many as 700 small animals were housed and cared for during peak shelter operations. Along with providing daily treatments, the team assessed the animals, inserted microchips and examined incoming animals. Larissa Minicucci, DVM/MPH Program Director, Assistant Professor Veterinary Population Medicine, served as the Veterinary Medicine Response Team leader and assisted in coordinating the response.