Animal Technical Rescue

For a large or small animal technical rescue emergency in the North Central Florida region (Alachua, Marion, Levy, Gilchrist, Dixie, Suwanee, Lafayette, Columbia, Hamilton, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Madison, Taylor, Duval, Nassau, St Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus), the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service (VETS) team, based in Alachua County, is available to assist local emergency management.

Technical rescue team locations throughout the state of Florida:

Dr. Roger Clemmons assesses Tea Cup

Dr. Roger Clemmons assesses Tea Cup, a 30-year-old horse that fell through a swale created after heavy rains in the North Florida area. Tea Cup resides at an equine retirement farm near Gainesville and is in good health after being rescued from her fall on July 12, 2012 by UF’s large animal technical rescue team.

Owners with an animal in a technical rescue situation should contact their city or county 911 for assistance. Alachua County has Deputies trained in responding to these types of incidents, and they have a working relationship with the VETS team for additional assistance. Other surrounding county dispatchers can request the VETS team through mutual aid, and should contact the Alachua County Sheriff’s Dispatch, which has the contact information for the VETS team. The VETS team will respond in the assistance of local fire or police/sheriff – it does not respond independently to calls directly from the public.

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine VETS team is capable of assisting with high and low angle rescue from holes, gorges, mud, water, etc., and it is equipped with ropes, slings, rigging equipment, rescue glides (large animal stretcher), etc. Its team members are trained in a variety of animal technical rescue courses, human technical rescue, confined space and swift-water rescue.

The VETS team is a volunteer/grant/donation funded resource to the greater Gainesville/Ocala community, and requests donations in support of its responses to ensure this resource remains available. CLICK HERE TO DONATE!  

Large Animal Technical Rescue in the News:

Horse Rescued from Hole at Retirement Farm (Gainesville Sun, 7/12/2012)

New Chapter in NFPA 1670 Provides Responders with Guidance on Conducting Animal Technical Rescues

Lesson in Horse Rescue Draw 65 First Responders (Ocala Star Banner 12/20/2015)

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Technical Rescue Team Pull a Three-day Old Calf from Sink Hole 4/13/16     Calf Rescue: Interview and Video

Large Animal Technical Rescue in the News:

  • August 23, 2014: Horse Trailer Accident Scenario – Marion County Sheriff and Fire Rescue, 8:30am at Sheriff Prison Complex
  • September 27, 2014: Dog, Human, and High Angle Technical Rescue Scenarios – GRU Kelly Plant, Gainesville. Leave UFCVM at 8:15am
  • November 15th OR 22nd: Swift Water Technical Rescue Scenarios – Ichetuknee River, Ft. White, FL. Leave UFCVM at 8:00am (Date to be determined depending on UF football schedule)


Animal Technical Rescue in the News:

Disaster Preparedness: Preparing your pets

Rottweiler puppy rescued from sink hole

Another happy ending - Rottweiler extraction

Dr. Cassie Fleming assesses Dicey, a 6mo old Rottweiler puppy that went missing 36 hours ealier after escaping from his pen and winding up at the bottom of sinkhole, moments after UF VETS team member Josh Fleming, an expert in animal technical rescue, safely extracted Dicey from the sinkhole.













Two-day old calf rescued from sink holeCalf Sinkhole Rescue 2












Animal Technical Rescue– FLORIDA FIRE SERVICE – MAY 2017 ISSUE