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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Taking the heat out of animal rescue in New Orleans

Allison models one of the koolvests before they are dispatched to the disaster zoneWe are supporting the rescue operation in New Orleans by sending out special vests to keep the rescuers cool. IAR is providing 50 thermal protection vests that work under drysuits to absorb the heat. They are then put in the fridge to recharge.

Alan Knight heard of the urgent need for a cooling system for the rescuers from relief teams who are working in New Orleans. The main problem hampering the operation was that rescuers wearing dry suits were suffering from serious heat shock. Alan Knight explains: "Allison Day, a member of the IAR team, sourced the koolvests through her previous employers at the Fire Brigade – they are currently testing the vests for their own use in the UK."

Ever since news of the disaster came in, IAR has been looking for a practical way to support efforts to rescue the many dogs, cats and other animals that people were forced to leave behind as they fled from Hurricane Katrina. As a small hands-on charity currently working extensively in India, it wasn’t practical for us to send vets and rescuers to the scene. However, the opportunity to provide equipment that can make a real difference to the rescue operation was welcomed with open arms.

Alan concludes: "It has been frustrating for us to see images in the media of abandoned animals stranded in the flood water and feel powerless to help. Thankfully, now we can do our bit to support the rescue effort. Our thoughts and good wishes go to all the brave men and women who are striving to save the lives of animals and people at such a desperate time."

Fifty koolvests, made by Respirex of Redhill, have been despatched from the IAR office in East Sussex.