Large Animal Rescue Drill Held in Stead - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Large Animal Rescue Drill Held in Stead

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The Nevada National Guard took to the skies Friday to run a rescue drill. But this time, they weren't practicing to rescue people, they were learning how to rescue animals.

Even though it doesn't happen often - with all the ranching and trail riding in Northern Nevada, accidents with horses and livestock do happen. So, crews ran a training drill today to make sure they can get those large animals to safety - at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Stead.

An 800-pound horse dummy is not what you'd normally expect to see dangling from a military helicopter, but rescue crews had to try it out to make sure there's a good system in place to rescue animals in distress.

They used what's called an anderson sling which they put on a sedated animal before lifting it to safety.  Organizers tell us there have been two large animal rescues needed just in the last two years with horses slipping into ravines or ditches so they knew they needed to put together a plan.

"We decided, with these two incidents, to make sure our staff at Washoe County Animal Services...is truly prepared and certified to address this kind of animal rescue if needed," says Barry Brode, Washoe County Animal Services Director.

This was the first time a drill like this has been done in Northern Nevada, but Washoe County tells me they plan to make it an annual event to keep their skills fresh.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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