Dr. David Senior
As the rate of animal discharges began to accelerate, more veterinary staff was assigned to this task to ensure that outgoing animals had all vaccinations, were micro-chipped and had an adequate supply of heartworm, intestinal worm and flea control medication for the next few months. Transport cages, leashes, collars, food and water bowls, food and toys were provided to the owner of each exiting animal from the donated stocks in the shelter.
With a deadline of October 15 to vacate the premises, the resident animal population of the shelter began to rapidly decline after September 30 and progressively more manpower was diverted to tear down the shelter setup and clean up. All signage was removed. Cages and utensils were cleaned and prepared for return shipment if they were on loan or wrapped for rapid-access storage for future events. Carpets were rolled up and discarded and electrical conduits were dismantled and discarded. Electrical fans were returned to their original owners or stored for future use. For equipment loaned from companies, provision was made for the items to be picked up or the shelter arranged return shipping. All donated equipment was documented and many items were transferred to an LVMA storage facility at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). From there, veterinarians whose practices had been damaged and lost could look over the equipment and supplies and take whatever they needed free of charge. Excess food was sent either to the LDAF storage facility or to other shelters in the state by direction from the state veterinarian’s office.
Office equipment items purchased by the shelter from donated funds were catalogued and decisions were made regarding whether to keep these assets in case of future disaster response needs or to auction them at the LVMA annual meeting. Some equipment was retained to maintain the records of the shelter.
Flea control in the facility had been poor and a massive infestation of the facility began to emerge once animals were removed, particularly in the barn area. LSU entomologists were consulted and an environmental flea control program was implemented.
At the same time, transportation was arranged for the 120+ animals that were sent to distant shelters, a website, www.lsueas.com, was established and supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to help owners find pets that the Parker shelter had transported to a distant shelter. The website included the name, address, and telephone number of the original owner, and the name, breed, and sex of the pet along with a photograph. In addition, the site listed the new location of the transported pet and contact information for the distant shelter. This website was linked on the front page of Petfinders.com and the LSU SVM website.
Funding from the ASPCA was arranged to support initial transportation of pets to distant shelters and subsequent reunification costs when the original owners came forward to claim their pets. An employee of the Parker shelter was assigned to facilitate and arrange all aspects of reunification up until January 15, 2006.
Temporary offices at the LSU SVM were established to support the final administrative functions of the shelter. Loaned mobile phones were used throughout this final period to facilitate communication. All shelter records were digitized to reduce storage space need
An “after-action” meeting was held on October 21, 2005, and this manual / website catalogues the proceedings of this meeting. The meeting was moderated by Dr. Peter Haynes, Executive Associate Dean of the LSU SVM. The leader of each administrative section was invited to prepare a report that included five elements:
1. The essential function of the administrative unit
2. What was achieved.
3. What went well
4. What went wrong
5. Any innovations that were implemented
The after-action meeting was audio-recorded and minutes were taken by shorthand. Proceedings were connected by speaker phone through an IFAW link to IFAW personnel in Cape Cod,Massachusetts and United States Public Health Service (USPHS) personnel in Washington, DC.
Administrative sections reporting were:
Commander: Dr. Paula Drone
Safety: Mr. Jim Roberts
Liaison: Dr. Pat Thistlewaithe
Public Relations/Web Master: Ms. Ginger Guttner/Ms. Kathleen Harrington
Finances: Dr. Becky Adcock
Logistics: Mr. Rick Ramsey
Operations: Ms. Andrea Flores
Planner/Veterinary Manpower: Dr. David Senior
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Renee Poirrier, Louisiana SART leader.