24. Pets in Disasters Training

American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services staff members often run into the same problem over and over. After a disaster occurs, Red Cross shelters, and many of the Red Cross motel partners, cannot accommodate pets due to client allergy issues. Pets are an integral part of many families, and those families cannot or will not use Red Cross facilities unless their pets are being cared for as well.

Ideally, families should have a disaster plan that includes care for their pets as well as the human family members. And even if that fails, counties should have animal care as a part of their comprehensive disaster plans. However, as you know we don’t live in an ideal world.

All of which brings us to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Department has produced a series of ten online courses to teach responders about animals in crisis, including disaster response. FIR is also seeking volunteers to assist them at major incidents. For further information about the classes and/or volunteering for FIR, go to http://www.aspcapro.org/fir .