It is Innovetive Petcare’s privilege and honor to share the veterinary heroism of our very own Dr. Tripp Stewart of Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital. Due to COVID restrictions, celebrating the Red Cross, Virginia Chapter, Animal Humanitarian Hero Award Ceremony was delayed until this April 2022, where we applaud Dr. Stewart for receiving the Red Cross 2022 Hero Award. Here is his story.
On August 18, 2019, at approximately 6:30 PM, the Charlottesville Fire Department was dispatched to a commercial structure fire at Pet Paradise, a local boarding facility. Police officers were on the scene reporting smoke and fire billowing from the building after hours on the Sunday evening. The Deputy Chief, who also happened to be a client at Greenbrier Animal Emergency Hospital, called the hospital and asked explicitly for Dr. Tripp Stewart, who was not at the veterinary office that evening but would be contacted. Within 15 minutes, Dr. Stewart was onsite, and with at least 30 boarding pets rescued thus far, dispatchers were unsure how they would handle the triage and treatment of that many rescued animals.
Dr. Stewart immediately began to triage, treat, and coordinate the transportation of 78 dogs and 11 cats. The fire soon elevated to a second alarm, further complicated by the lack of sprinklers and the firefighters’ inability to open cage doors as a result of the heat and their gloves not working with the locks. Without the expertise and cool, collected temperament of Dr. Stewart, the outcome of the fire would have been much worse.
- Dr. Stewart triaged treatment of almost 90 pets without loss of life directly due to the fire
- He supported the coordination of seven different area veterinary clinics and hospitals to treat displaced animals
- His team led a transportation plan for the animals to local clinics
- Coordinated over 50+ volunteers with a reunification plan for pet owners and their pets
- Let follow-up and coordination of medical treatments post-fire
Dr. Stewart was not only a hero but a true leader of his community, an advocate for fire prevention in boarding facilities. He continues to be a veterinary resource for the Charlottesville Fire Department, Pet Paradise, and boarding facilities. His efforts also led to nationwide advocacy for fire prevention measures in boarding facilities, including a push by Pet Paradise to ensure all their locations feature fire sprinklers and fire glove-friendly cage doors.
Please applaud Dr. Tripp Stewart for his dedication and heroism to his local community.