Thursday, January 8, 2015

Most states are unprepared to help animals in a disaster

JUNE 3, 2012 How confident are you that your state will step up to help with animal rescue and animal evacuation in case of a disaster? Well, unless you live in one of 14 states, chances are your state government is not even thinking about it.

Those 14 states have formed teams to help out with animals during a disaster. The teams often use the naming convention "State Animal Response Team" (SART). A SART sometimes includes a smaller unit called a "Community or County Animal Response Team" (CART).

Many SARTs are coalitions. Their state has partnered with non-profits who have experience in animal rescue. In some cases these may not be robust fully functioning units, but at least the outline of a structure is in place. (The exception is Louisiana's SART which is by far the best in the country.)

Other states have either not thought about what happens to animals during a disaster or they have disbanded their animal response team. What happened to the Texas State Animal Response Team (TXSART)? When I checked the TXSART website, it now supports Texas art!

In some cases, there may be an animal organization in the state that has nominated itself the SART. That organization may be able to step up and function well in an emergency. But if the state does not acknowledge the partnership on their website, they are not listed below. No mention by the state would indicate, at a minimum, a lack of communication with their "SART."

Following is a list of the only states who have official "State Animal Response Teams." This list was compiled by researching the official state website and finding if they linked to any organization as their SART. This is the only list of SARTs on the Internet, which may be taken as an indication of how lightly they are regarded. If your state is not listed below, write your state legislator. A team needs to be in place and easily found on the state website before a disaster shows how badly an animal response team is needed.
  • Connecticut CTSART (Coalition) Connecticut State Animal Response Team
  • Florida FL-SARC (Coalition) Florida State Animal Response Coalition
  • Indiana SAVE (estab. 1995) State Annex for Veterinary Emergencies
  • Louisiana LSART Louisiana State Animal Response Team
  • Michigan MISART (Coalition) Michigan State Animal Response Team
  • Mississippi MART Mississippi Animal Response Team
  • New Jersey AEWG (Coalition) Animal Emergency Working Group
  • New York ESART Empire State Animal Response Team
  • North Carolina NCSART (Coalition) North Carolina Animal Response Team
  • Pennsylvania PASART (Coalition) Pennsylvania Animal Response Team
  • Rhode Island RIDART Rhode Island Animal Response Team
  • Tennessee DART (Coalition) Disaster Animal Response Team
  • Virginia VASART (Coalition) Virginia State Animal Response Team
  • Washington WASART Washington State Animal Response Team

Here is a list with links to the SART websites.
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