Emergency Relief for People and their Pets

The American Veterinary Medical Association has found that about 60 percent of households in America are home to some type of a pet (e.g., cats, dogs, horses). Each of these households has about 2-3 pets in each. So, it is clear that the American people, in large part, are animal owners, and no doubt most of us love these animals as much (or even more!) than we love our human relations.

That said, State Animal Response Teams (SARTs) have begun popping up around the nation. The purpose of these SARTs is that if there is an emergency or natural disaster there will be a plan and a place to take care of all of these beloved animals amidst the shuffle and the chaos.

SARTs have been mandated from the federal government following the devastating Hurricane Katrina because most people were reluctant to part with many of their furry friends. It was so bad in some situations, that people risked life and limb for their pets. There was no mechanism or network set up to deal with the animals, leading to many unnecessary loses of animal life. SARTs are now being developed to prevent this from ever happening again.

There has been talk for a number of years that getting a SART plan together was instrumental in preventing many of the myriad issues that arise when people and their pets are met with an emergency. Now, finally, action is being taken and initiatives implemented.

The Region 2 Team leader, Dr. Christopher Gargamelli in Milford, CT explained that the CT SART is a joint public/private venture with the Connecticut Veterinary Association and the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. This underscores that fact that this endeavor does not have to be entirely government run.

Furthermore, Gargamelli laid out how people's pets would be protected in an emergency, stating that SART would set up its disaster relief tents for pets directly next to the tents for humans, such as a Red Cross shelters. The would make it much easier to take care of people and pets at once.

Additionally, this type of set up is conducive to the plan which outlines that when people arrive at a main disaster relief station they will always have their photo take with their pet(s) during intake. This will ensure that each pet is verifiably linked to their owners, so no matter what happens, when the dust settles, they are back together again.

The CT SART is comprised of experienced veterinarians, knowledgeable animals lovers, and volunteers, many of who are also Animal Control Officers. They are therefore skilled and ready to tackle the many unforeseen challenges that a SART may face, say in a raging flood.

This type of volunteering goes hand-in-hand with the type of work done in animals shelters all around the nation. The idea is to protect and support the many millions of American pets that may have lost their way or be in dire need of a helping hand. All of this is fine and admirable work.

MDM Shelters, a Connecticut portable garage and shelter company has a robust line of disaster relief tents ready to go for SART, and other SART-like programs that are developed around the state and nation. MDM knows that one thing is for sure, being a good citizen involves protecting life within one's home area, whether it be human or canine, and MDM is committees to helping supply those charged with such tasks accomplish their important goals!

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