Renee Poirrier, DVM
Growing up in the small town of Scott, Louisiana, Renee shared her life with a menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and cows. She joined her local 4-H chapter to show dairy cattle and to learn more about veterinary science. Dr. Renee’s childhood experiences with her animals shaped her veterinary career. One pet in particular helped her realize that a veterinary career was the right path for her. Hoppy, her pet dachshund, had neurologic damage to his back, leaving him paralyzed. Renee was determined to help her beloved pet become active and playful again. Following her veterinarian’s instructions, she gave Hoppy intense water therapy in a metal washtub for a month. Through Renee’s love and persistence, Hoppy gradually regained much of his normal function. This experience showed Renee that she could make a difference in the healing process of animals in her care. As a veterinarian, this is one of the childhood experiences that reminds her of the importance of collaboration between pet owners and veterinarians as they work to heal pets. This experience also pushed Dr. Renee to pursue integrative therapies such as acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and water therapy.
After graduating from Acadiana High School in 1982, Renee embarked on her lifelong quest to become a veterinarian. She had always felt a special connection with animals, and she appreciated their joyful, loving spirits. Renee wanted to dedicate her career to keeping these beautiful creatures healthy. Graduating from Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1988, Dr. Renee was ready to begin her veterinary career and her lifelong pursuit: to improve the health and well-being of the furry family members in her care.
Dr. Renee spent several years as an associate veterinarian living in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana. During this time, she was exposed to veterinary acupuncture as therapy for chronic illnesses such as arthritis in animals. In 1992, Dr. Renee pursued and attained certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.
In 1996, Dr. Renee was able to return to her roots, and she purchased Acadiana Veterinary Clinic. Within her practice, Dr. Renee uses many conventional medical treatments, along with veterinary acupuncture, therapeutic exercise, and underwater therapy to improve her patients' quality of life.
Dr. Renee also takes special care with her feline patients. Since cats originated in the wild, they often hide their medical problems to keep from being vulnerable. Also, each cat has its own special handling preferences. While uncovering each cat's medical problem can prove difficult, Dr. Renee feels a sense of satisfaction when she is able to help these fabulous feline family members.
Throughout Dr. Renee's career, she has been grateful for the opportunity to practice veterinary medicine, and she has always shared her skills in charitable work. After traveling overseas for veterinary mission and disaster relief work, Dr. Renee focused her efforts on disaster relief work closer to home. In 2003, she began volunteering with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team. In 2004, she became the director of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team; and she has coordinated many pet shelters and animal response efforts. Dr. Renee's work made a difference during several hurricanes including Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Laura, Delta, and Ida ; as well as in the wildlife response to the BP oil spill and the Haitian earthquake.
Each year, Dr. Renee volunteers to teach workshops and trainings on pet evacuation and sheltering, with animal responders as her audience. She wants to ensure that people will be able to evacuate with their pets during disasters. Dr Renee’s work was recognized in 2019 when she was honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for long term commitment and excellence in Emergency Preparedness from the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA).
In 2011 she was named Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year by the Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation. Dr Renee was also named the 2008 Louisiana Veterinarian of the Year. In 2006 she received the Everett Besch Distinguished Service Award for her community service work from the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Renee has also come full circle in her educational career, as she serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Renee is part of a team of instructors, teaching the next generation of veterinary students about animal emergency response.
Away from her busy career, Dr. Renee relaxes by riding Meaux, Pride, and Mince, her gaited horses, on quiet woodland trails. She also loves spending time with her furry family members. Jackson and Red the border collies, who are always ready to herd Dr. Renee's small group of haired sheep, Tippy the Rat Terrier, who loves attention and Holstein, her aptly named black-and-white cat, rounds out Dr. Renee's household pets. Outside, Senior the miniature burro lives a peaceful life in Dr. Renee's pasture, always happy to receive his favorite treat of peanut butter crackers.