Last week, Robyn Bresette, a veterinary technician who works in the intensive care unit at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, spent her free time volunteering as a member of Disaster Animal Response Team (DART). Becoming a DART volunteer is a commitment that Robyn has enjoyed for more than three yeas.
DART volunteers help the organization fulfill their mission of evacuating and providing aid to animals in crisis. Recently, DART has begun to assist local search and rescue teams with K9 units. Last year, the Tampa Bay Search and Rescue and Manatee County Search and Rescue found a hidden resource within DART volunteer veterinary technicians. When veterinary technicians join the search and rescue teams in the field and on standby at the Command Post, any injuries or exhaustion that the working dogs may suffer from would be stabilized immediately and reduce the chances of a handler having to use the words “K9 Down.”
Tampa Bay and Manatee County Search and Rescue called upon DART veterinary technician volunteers to assist with a missing person’s case. As a team leader, Robyn was able to enlist the help of other veterinary technicians including her colleagues at Florida Veterinary Specialists. FVS donated all the medical supplies needed for the K9 units and technicians without prior DART experience were “stat prepped” and sent out into the field with the search teams.