ADPS Large Animal Rescue Team

It is our honor to announce Aiken Volunteer Mounted Unit and Aiken Department of Public Safety’s Large Animal Rescue Team have developed a partnership to serve our community.

Did you know Aiken and surrounding communities has a large animal ambulance available 24 hours a day seven days a week?

Aiken Public Safety Dispatch: (803) 642-7620

Large Animal Rescue Team Equine Ambulance

The Large Animal Rescue Team, operated by Aiken Public Safety, was started approximately 10 years ago to fill a need at the request of the Aiken equine community. The team currently operates with 30 members of Aiken Public Safety and is the only full-time team operating in South Carolina. The team is on call 24/7 for large animal emergencies in and around Aiken County, and can respond to incidents further away with the appropriate mutual aid requests.

Over the last few years, this team has responded to rescue horses and cattle in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence, responding to Marion County, SC for both. We have also responded to numerous loose horse calls, loose cattle, cattle on the interstate, horse stuck in mud, sick horse down in a field, and a vet assist to lift a standing horse off of an injured hoof. The team works closely with Dr. Lisa Handy as our on-call equine vet, and Aiken County Animal Control.

The team’s equipment is housed in two dedicated trailers (equine ambulances) with other resources available as well. The Aiken Volunteer Mounted Unit is currently working to raise funds to replace the small 2 horse trailer. While maintained in good working order, the trailer is not designed to accommodate the sling lift system used to hold an injured animal upright during transport. The trailer the AVMU affectionately calls “the rust bucket” is in need of replacement. Please go to our Support page for further information if you would like to assist AVMU with our fundraising.

Although this team is operated by Aiken Public Safety, it is funded primarily by donations from the community for equipment and training needs. This team cannot operate without the gracious support of the Aiken community.