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Animal rescue organization looking for volunteers

DUNCAN, Okla._When disasters strike in our state many Oklahoman's are displaced leaving animals to fend for themselves.

The nonprofit Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders is looking to change that. The organization was formed in the aftermath of the May 2013 storms in the Oklahoma City area. The group formed of volunteers including veterinarians and trained animal handlers.

For Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders Saturday was about spreading awareness and gathering volunteers. The group is hoping to spread their support staff across the state so when disaster strikes they will be there to help.

Animal advocate and board of director's member Doug Sauter says for him it is all about helping the animals.

"All people of Oklahoma. It doesn't matter what part of the state. We are a state wide organization and we want to be able to provide a service to people that are unfortunately in a disastrous situation," Sauter said.

Sauter's dog Layla helps him to search for animals that could be hurt or in need of shelter when a tornado or wildfire leaves animals stranded.

"Proceed if the phone rings. Last year we only had one disaster and that was in Guthrie with the fire. We rescued 29 horses out and only one horse was injured," Sauter said.

Sauter says they are alerted by emergency management to provide urgent care, triage, and evacuations of large animals.

"There is a huge need for a group to come in and look after these injured horses take them to a safe place and give them feed," he said.

Animals like this horse named Lips who was rescued from debris during the May 2013 tornado in Moore. He now has a new home and is fully healed because of the organization. Now, they are looking for volunteers to help more animals in the future to have the same positive outcome.

"We are looking for any volunteers. We have a lot of different categories. Like horse handlers and vet

Assistants," he said.

Sauter says stories like this make all the hard work worth it.

"What people can do and how we can help not only the horses and the lamas and the donkeys and the cattle and help the owners reunite," he said.

The nonprofit finds foster homes for animals until the owners can get back on their feet.

They also take donations so they are able to pay to feed and care for the animals.

For more information on how you can get involved with the organization https://www.facebook.com/OklahomaLargeAnimalFirstResponders

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