Tioga County Animal Response Team
Hurricane Katrina was a grim time for pet owners and their beloved pets. Many owners wouldn't leave their companions behind, which resulted in fatalities, rescuers risking their lives, and many people being torn from their four-legged friends - knowing there was no food, water or shelter as they were being led to safety. Animal Response Teams were then deployed to rescue these pets left behind. Many of those pets never made it back to their owners due to lack of identification. So much loss could have been prevented had the owners been able to take their pets with them.
Due to these unfortunate events, laws were changed so owners can now take their pets with them during mandatory evacuation. While the people and animals have to be housed separately, more people are willing to evacuate if their pets can go with them. This was a huge step; however, there are still many accidents and disasters that call on these volunteers, which is why Tioga County is putting a team together. While our rural area doesn't see many of these incidents, when they do happen, CART can relieve firefighters and police officers from having to chase down animals ranging from cats to horses, so they can focus on their job.
For more information, or if you wish to volunteer as a responder for big or small animal, assist with administrative work, help fundraise, or you have a large facility or large animal trailers to assist during evacuations, please visit the Tioga County, PA CART page.
Training is required for the responders, which is usually provided at no charge. This includes taking on-line courses through FEMA about the Incident Command System and Hazardous Materials. As well as Classroom/Field Training. More details on the required training can be found on the PA State Animal Response Team website. Classroom Training will also be available locally in the near future.
Swift911 is "A reverse mass notification software program. Swift911 allows emergency personnel to notify people of important information before, during, and after large-scale emergencies. Additionally, you can sign up for day-to-day notifications (e.g., weather alerts, road closures, etc.) however you would like." You may sign up on-line, and/or download the app to your Android or IOS.
Please remember this team is just getting assembled and formed - "with a target date for responses in January 2017." Once we get settled in, we will have more to help prepare you and your pets in emergencies.
Tioga CART is now on Facebook