Teachers Resource

The following problem solving scenario for students was created by Amy Cody, a teacher at the Walton-Verona High School in Walton KY. She has graciously allowed it's reproduction on this site as a resource for other teachers. Thank you Amy!


Animal Response Team Plan


Your team has been asked to develop an Animal Rescue Plan- A plan to develop teams who will assist in the rescue of animals in your community in the event of a disaster or emergency.


Your team should attempt to develop a plan that coordinates, educates and trains volunteers to prepare for and respond to any natural and manmade disasters in your area, and to provide care and shelter for any impacted animals and thus reduce public health hazards and expedite the evacuation of animal owners.

Ultimate Goal: To ensure that all animals are considered and cared for before, during and after any natural and manmade disaster in our area. The activated teams� job will be to rescue and care for any animals that are affected by local man-made or natural disasters or emergencies.




According to a Zogby Poll, 49 percent of pet owners would NOT evacuate if they could not take their pets. Pets are family for many people. Livestock may be a sole source of income and an asset a farmer cannot afford to replace. People do not want to leave these animals behind to an unknown fate. This puts human lives at risk, both the owners and the rescuers trying to get them out.

By having a plan in place for evacuation of animals along with their owners, it helps everyone get to safety with the least amount of trauma and resistance. It also reduces the number of animals wandering loose after a disaster that may be sick, injured, diseased or frightened (and thus more likely to bite.) Providing for the rescue of animals also reduces the number of animals that die and create additional health hazards and disposal responsibilities.

Human lives ALWAYS come first, but by planning for the evacuation and care of animals, more human lives can be saved and/or kept out of danger.

What Types Of Emergencies Happen in Our Area?

The following disasters/emergencies could occur in our region according to Tri-State C.A.R.T. Note: You will be selecting the TWO most common possible for your area for your proposal.

Severe winter storms - Many local counties have had federally declared disasters because of these types of storms and the problems they cause.

Extended Power Outages - Especially if temperatures are very high or very low. With everyone using more and more power, these could become more common. This could also affect just one community that includes an animal shelter, farms and homes with pets if something like an auto accident, ice storm or transformer explosion involves a major power supply.

Tornadoes - Even urban areas are not immune. Tornadoes and severe straight line winds have effected many areas in tri-state counties.

Floods - The Ohio river and the smaller rivers around this area have crested their banks many times. In smaller scale emergencies, the back-up of a sewer system into a facility or home could cause an evacuation or hazardous situation.

No water- If a main water supply line breaks or is disrupted, will you be able to care for yourself and your animals until water is restored and deemed safe?

Fires - This could be a wild fire, barn fire or a house/apartment fire

Chemical spills - Could be from a rail car, tractor trailer or chemical plant. On a small scale, it could be pesticides or some other chemical that is knocked over or dropped and spilled causing a small but immediate evacuation need.

Explosions - From chemicals, fuels or other volatile substances.

Disease outbreak - If many people are getting sick and going to the hospital, who will care for their animals. If it's an animal disease, people will need help caring for their pets or livestock or a quarantine may need to be enforced.

Civil Unrest - Cincinnati has had riots in the past and could have them again. The scale would be determined by the cause of the upset.

Terrorist acts - No one knows what tomorrow may bring. The U.S. has already been attacked and it could happen again effecting health, utilities, transportation, etc.

Loss of employees or help - If disease or injury affects the people that help you, will you still be able to function and care for the animals that rely on you.


American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) tracks consumer trends when it comes to pets. The 2007/2008 National Pet Owners Survey done by the APPMA found that pet ownership remains on the rise in the US. While dogs, cats, and fish remain the most popular, reptiles and other small pets are becoming more popular too.


Breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S. according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey

Number of U.S. Households that Own a Pet

Bird 6.4 Million
Cat 38.4 Million
Dog 44.8 Million

Equine 4.3 Million

Freshwater Fish 14.2 Million

Saltwater Fish .8 Million
Reptile 4.8 Million
Small Animal 6.0 Million

That is 63% of U.S. Households (71.1 million homes) have a pet!


Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S.

Bird 16 Million

Cat 88.3 Million

Dog 74.8 Million
Equine 13.8 Million

Freshwater Fish 142.0 Million
Saltwater Fish 9.6 Million
Reptile 13.4 Million

Small Animal 24.3 Million

 Source: AAPMA


That's over 380 Million Pets! And the numbers continue to rise. That doesn't even include stray animals, horses, farm animals or exotics/wildlife kept as pets or as a means of income.


When activated during a disaster, response teams need to take in and offer temporary shelter for any kind of animal. If they do not have experience in handling a certain type of animal, they should use their rescources to find someone who does.


Second Chance Wildlife will rescue and care for any native wild animals that are effected during a disaster or emergency. This includes animals that normally survive without human intervention like deer, raccoons, possum, coyotes, foxes, squirrels, bears, wolves, etc.


Note: Ohio is second in the nation for private ownership of exotic animals. This includes the large exotics like tigers, bears, wolves, lions, etc. as well as ostrich, emu, bison, venomous snakes, and more. So the chances of exotic animals being involved in local disasters are high. While we don�t live in Ohio, chances are high that (a) that could also be true in KY as we are consider a �Tri-state area� or (b) a disaster here could also affect Ohio. You do not have to include exotic animals in your plan.

P.E.T.S. Act

Even the government is recognizing the need to plan for the animals to expedite the evacuation of the humans. The PETS (Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act) has been signed by President Bush and is now a law. It is a federal mandate that state and local preparedness offices take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation and emergency preparedness plans. Offices that fail to do so will not qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. CART teams would play a major role in the activation of a local plan that includes all animals.

Process: Getting Started

Step One- Decide who will be group leader and who will be group Scribe (take notes on each meeting) and who will be group spokesperson (reports to class/teacher your progress.) You are STRONGLY encouraged to switch roles each time you meet.

Step Two- Brainstorm all the animals that exist in your community. Choose Three most common (lump dogs/cats together) in your area.

Next- Brainstorm where these pets would commonly be located?

Finally- Brainstorm the most common disasters/emergencies that could happen in your area- Choose two.

Step Three- Go to the following site and research the answers to the questions posted on the FAQ page (you may also research further on this site.)

Step Four- Develop a plan for rescuing the animals you selected that exist in your area  focusing on the two emergencies you selected.

1. Take into account the following:

- Who will make up the teams? Take Notes!!




- Where will the team go- Where are the animals located? Take Notes!

- What challenges might they face in the rescue? Take Notes!

o Animal containment and transport

o Rubble or debris in area- equipment and safety concerns

o Roaming animals- What animals might be roaming? How will you handle each type?

o Communicating with others/each other?

o Protection and equipment- http://www.tristatecart.com/CART_Needs.html

o Other?

2. You must also go to http://www.tristatecart.com/Multiple_Animal_Care.html and address as much of the checklist as you can in your Animal Response Plan. Take Notes!!

3. This Site really gives Before/During and After Disaster problems to think about:

http://www.tristatecart.com/Disaster_Overview.html Each member must list three from each category that you consider most important.

4. Visit http://www.evacuatemypet.com/ and take notes on all the ways a family can develop a Family Pet Disaster Plan. Look at ALL the categories on this page; they give many tips on ways to be prepared. You will EACH select 2-3 tips or ways and develop a feature article for kids your age on What a pet disaster plan is, how to prepare one- giving tips and advice, finally encouraging them to create one- why it's important.

5. Visit at least TWO OTHER SITES from the Disaster Preparation for Animals page: http://www.tristatecart.com/How-to-be-prepared.html

Take Notes: List the site and take notes on other tips/advice given.

Step Five- Examine a proposal model- making note of the titles or sections that make up the proposal, as well as the format- how each section is written. Assign a portion/section to each group member who should begin to develop a rough draft to share with the group.

Share your proposal sections with one another at the next two meetings- Each time it should be BETTER DEVELOPED! Make sure the proposal is meeting the parameters of your plan specified in Step four.


Develop an advertising campaign that will sell your idea. Your campaign can include technology, free gifts, displays; whatever you feel will grab the judges and beat the competition. Remember! All ideas are good ideas, because they are all seeking to help those we love, but often forget in a tragedy or emergency- our pets! All ideas are good ideas when they are ideas of love for those in need! Translation- Don't be TOO competitive because there are NO LOSERS in this :-) No One loses when working for a good cause!

Grade Alert! ALL MEMBERS of the group should contribute to the development and presentation of the AD Campaign!!


You will present your proposal to the class (and possibly others) with your advertisement campaign tools/incentives that you developed or prepared.

Special Incentive: The best ideas will be sent to our Walton City Council!


Important to group kids according to the region they live. For example some of my students live in very rural farm area while others live in town in Walton.

Copyright 2014 Tri-State CART County Animal Response Team