Why form the team?

 90 of Indiana’s 92 counties had a federally declared disaster between 1990 and 2000.

All counties in Ohio have had federally declared disasters (including Hamilton County as recently as the winter of 2005)


61% of Indiana households have pets (2 of every 3 households)


25% have refused to evacuate because of their animals/pets


30 – 50% leave their animals behind (even with advance notice)


50 – 70% of those will attempt to re-enter to get their pets putting themselves in danger


Animals wandering loose pose a physical threat to human safety (bites, disease, dead animals can contaminate water, etc.)


We can help to educate the public about preparedness to reduce the number of animals left behind (a very important function of the team!)


No team for rescue of pets and livestock exists in this area at this time, so unless people have a plan and are prepared, the national animal groups will need to be called in for the animals.  This can only happen when the county, state or federal agents get around to calling these teams in.  If an incident can be handled at the local level, where we are most familiar with the resources available, the national groups might not be needed and if they are, we can work closely with them to provide valuable information, resources and manpower to reduce the amount of time it takes to get the rescue process started.

 Where can I go to get a better understanding of handling emergencies and disasters?


                FEMA has many free courses that are recommended (certificates are issued for completion.)  If you take these courses, plase send Bonnie a copy of your certificate of completion for your volunteer file.  Some of these courses are required by the state and Federal government for CART Volunteers. Others are highly recommended or only required for CART Team Leaders.: You can find FEMA courses here http://training.fema.gov/EMIweb/IS/



 What do you need me to do?


This depends on your interest level, training and time available.  We will need all kinds of people with many different skills.  

  • People experienced with handling various types of animals: pets, livestock, wildlife, exotics, etc.
  • People that understand how to care for large numbers of animals at one location
  • An accountant
  • Lawyer
  • At least one mental health professional per team
  • Veterinarians and
  • Folks willing to do the detail work (find resources, compile lists, make contacts, help educate others.)  During a disaster, we need folks to clean cages, fill water bowls, empty trash, etc. 

    **** All skill levels can be utilized! ****


             Get training- The more training you have, the more versatile you can be within the team.  Many courses are free, others are not.  Most give certificates of completion that can be kept on file with the Tri-State CART secretary. 

Tri-State CART will hold training sessions at least every other month for anyone interested in being on the team as a volunteer.  Only people with the proper training and certification will be allowed on the Rescue Team Task Force to physically rescue the animals involved in a disaster (and they will need a significant amount of training.) 

The majority of the team will be supporting the efforts of the task force by handling the sheltering of the animals, managing supplies and equipment, handling finances and donations, providing vet care for injured animals, etc.


             Get involved- This is going to be a lot of work and the more help and support you can offer, the easier it will be for everyone.  We know there will be a lot of support if a disaster occurs, but it will help the situation go more smoothly if those volunteers are trained before the disaster occurs.  We will be offering training sessions and courses.  If you are not sure how to do something, just ask!  By doing this, you learn new skills, develop friendships and will be able to help the entire team (and the work will be done right the first time which avoids the need for duplication.)  Be a Unit Leader or contact a Unit Leader to find out how you can best help them during the start-up and after we are established.  Everyone is important and brings their unique skills and knowledge to the team. 


             Stay in touch! - Communication is the key!  Members will be added to a private email list for updates and  training info.          


If you have knowledge or information that can help, please  speak  up.  It’s not guaranteed that your information will be used, but it will be considered and that is important!  If you have questions –  ask them!  Don’t feel they are too stupid or not important enough to ask.  Learning is encouraged!

             Be a team player – anytime you get two or more people together, you can have a clash of ideas and personalities.  Realize that everyone is important and their ideas are important.  If  education is needed, do it in a polite and friendly manner that encourages and supports.  Nasty attitudes and “flame wars” will not be tolerated and can be reason to dismiss a person from the team.  Treat others as you would want them to treat you.


 Do you need foster homes?


No. We plan to utilize various locations and facilities around the tri-state to house as many of the animals in one place as possible during a disaster.  This will aid in the record keeping as well as making it easy for the owners to locate their animals.  If an incident is small and only a few animals are involved, we will work with the local shelters to provide temporary space until the owners can be located.



 How does Tri-State CART respond?

When a disaster happens, the members of CART do NOT immediately respond to the scene.  Tri-State CART members can only be activated by an official and response has to be approved by the county Emergency Manager.  We may contact the Emergency Manager to see if we are needed and wait for his or her response. In Ohio, the Ohio Veterinary Emergency Response Team would be the ones to activate our CART team.  This is why all Tri-State CART members need to also be members of OVER.

While there is a "parent" organization of Tri-State CART that all volunteers and supporters belong to, activation of volunteers would start with the county team members that are closest to the incident (if they are not directly involved.) If that does not provide enough volunteers to handle the situation, then neighboring County CART team members would be contacted for activation (if available.)

If a disaster is so large that it cannot be handled by Tri-State CART members and county/local resources, then the County Emergency Manager would be urged to contact the national animal response organizations.  Tri-State CART members would work closely with these responders to provide local knowledge and support.  As the incident becomes more manageable, responsibility for the animals will likely be turned back to Tri-State CART.

Tri-State CART cannot operate without the support of individuals and organizations that want to help the animals.  Even small incidents will take a huge toll on funds and resources.  If you can help, please visit the "Become a Team Member" page or the "How to help" pages!



 What is the PETS Act?

The Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards "PETS" Act  was established in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina.  The language for the PETS act can be found here. http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/stafford_act.pdf  The sections noted below in purple are amendments to sections from this larger document.

FAQ's regarding the PETS Act can be found here, on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.


Copyright 2014 Tri-State CART County Animal Response Team