Media pictures of cats and dogs in cage-filled tents are common after every disaster. But what about the equines, cows and zoo animals – many weighing 500 to 2,000 pounds?

The faculty and staff at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine – International Animal Welfare Training Institute (UC Davis – IAWTI) have teamed up with Texas A&M to teach a new continuing education course that prepares first responders and veterinarians to safely handle and rescue these bulky animals.

Dr. John Madigan, director of UC Davis International Animal Wellness Training Institute, and Dr. Charlie Anderson invented a state-of-theart sling used to safely lift stranded large animals in need of rescue (it can also be used in the clinic and on the farm for downer animals). The next step was to create curricula to teach technical skills and animal handling techniques.

Two trainings in California include First Responder Guidelines for Equine Emergencies, Level 1 and Loose Livestock and Injured Wildlife and Emergency Animal Euthanasia.