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Providing Prevention Response & Recovery for Animal Emergencies


Large-scale disasters create dangers for animal owners as well as their animals. Further, a lack of preparation for evacuation in the face of a disaster leads to avoidable harms to both people and animals, as well as to additional economic losses. Emergency planners acknowledge that the major reason people do not evacuate their homes when requested to do so in an emergency, is that they own pets, and they are unsure where they can safely go with their pets.

Pets are also the main reason people return, or attempt to return, to their homes before local authorities declare it safe to do so. Further, surveys indicate at least 80% of pet owners state they will risk their lives for their pets. This "re-entry" risks the health and safety of those attempting to retrieve their animals as well as that of the first responders who may have to re-enter the "hot zone" to rescue endangered people.

CTSART helps pet owners

The Pet Evacuation & Transportation Standards Act of 2006, the "PETS Act", makes planning for household pet evacuation a requirement of state and local governments receiving Stafford Act homeland security funding. Further, Connecticut Public Act 07-11 requires that every Connecticut municipality include, in its Emergency Operations Plan, provisions for providing shelter to the household pets of evacuated citizens.

American Veterinary Medical Association statistics indicate 60% of United States households include household pets. Of households that include pets, there are on average, approximately 2.6 pets in each. Therefore, a rule-of-thumb estimate is 1500 household pets per 1000 people. Thus, Connecticut is home to literally millions of household pets, as well as many horses and food animals. As you can imagine, providing evacuation shelter for large numbers of animals owned by evacuated citizens would pose a huge challenge. Fortunately, experience has shown that just a fraction of those evacuating a disaster area will seek public shelter. Still, the number of animals needing shelter may be substantial.

Recent disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, proved people would do almost anything to avoid abandoning their animals. The CTSART Program encourages all pet owners to evacuate with their animals to prevent endangering both human and animal lives. The CTSART programs

5 Regional Animal Response Teams provide a proven and cost-effective strategy for managing evacuated or displaced animals. Its existence satisfies the legal mandate, and the real need, to ensure animal safety to in turn ensure the public's health & safety.

Click on the highlighted web links to learn more about preparing yourself and your pets for an emergency.