Request Response

Animal Owners/Witnesses to Emergencies

Note: Owners with an animal in a technical rescue emergency should contact their local 911 and veterinarian for assistance.

The UF VETS ATR team is available as a support resource for local law enforcement and fire departments. The team must be requested by the local authority having jurisdiction and/or a veterinarian on scene. The ATR team will respond in the assistance of local fire, law enforcement, or veterinarians, but must be engaged by these entities to operate.

Our team is trained in animal technical rescue among a variety of other disciplines; however, we are not able to provide veterinary care or services during ATR missions. We will happily work alongside local veterinarians to support the health and welfare of involved animals, and strongly encourage early involvement of a veterinarian in any of these emergencies – both for the safety of the animals as well as the safety of the responders.

Emergency Dispatch in Surrounding Counties

Dispatchers in surrounding counties can request the UF VETS ATR team through mutual aid by contacting the Alachua County Sheriff’s Dispatch to contact the ATR team. The team may respond within a 2-hour radius of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida.

For more information, please contact ATR Branch Director Brandi Phillips.

Trapped Cow
Cow trapped in sinkhole in Bradford County, Florida

Cost for Response

We do not charge for rescue response services. The UF VETS ATR team is comprised of trained individuals who volunteer their time and effort to these calls in order to provide a humane, safe outcome for the animals and responders involved. The team absorbs the costs of fuel, equipment wear and tear or damage, and labor to ensure that cost is not a barrier to access for these services. Our services for animal technical rescue do not include veterinary care, which should be considered by the owner in all cases in the interest of the animal’s welfare.