All posts by Robyn Keiter

2015 Ks Animal Preparedness Conference Highlights

What a great conference!  Thanks to all who participated from attendees to speakers to sponsors.  Volunteers were recognized, awards were given, preparedness tips shared, response training provided, the networking opportunities were amazing and the support was appreciated.   The Kansas State Animal Response Team was proud to have hosted this event for animal response team volunteers and the public who attended.   The partnerships forged with local, state and national organizations was invaluable.    Remember the 2016 state training event, 2016 Kansas Animal Response Exercise, will be a hands-on event combining drills and a small scale exercise at Crisis City, October 14-16, 2016!

2016 ASPCA Midwestern Resiliency Grant Awards

The Kansas State Animal Response Team is pleased to accept two grants from the ASPCA Midwestern Resiliency Grant Program again in 2016.   The first project the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has provided funding for is the 2016 Kansas Animal Response Exercise scheduled for October 2016 at Crisis City.  This will be the first state-wide animal response training exercise the Kansas State Animal Response Team has organized.  The ASPCA was a strong partner in the 2015 Animal Preparedness Conference and the idea of partnering again with them in 2016 for a response exercise is very exciting.  The ASPCA has also awarded funding to enable one Kansas State Animal Response Team representative to attend a highly recognized national animal response conference, the 2016 National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) Summit in May in Texas.  This conference will offer valuable training and networking opportunities to help in the further development of animal response in Kansas.  Thank you to the ASPCA for their continued support of animal response efforts in Kansas!

Click here to read more on this ASPCA grant program and the KS SART award.


2015 ASPCA Midwestern Resiliency Grant Awards

Several animal response teams in Kansas were awarded grant funding through the ASPCA in 2015.  These grants encourage animal disaster preparedness and response development in five midwestern states, including Kansas.  Awards in Kansas included funding for response equipment, funding to continue the state Unit Coordinator role and funding to host the annual state training conference, the 2015 Kansas Animal Preparedness Conference.    Read more…

2015 Volunteer Recognition Awards

Thanks to each and every animal response team volunteer for your dedication and passion in preparing for disaster response and educating the public on disaster preparedness.  The following volunteers were recognized for going above and beyond by attending special training and exercise opportunities provided by, or sponsored by the Kansas State Animal Response Team.

Award Recipients

Highest Volunteer Training Classes - Shelly Marbut (left) Top Volunteer Service Hours - Janell Jessup (right)
Volunteer Training Award – Shelly Marbut (left) and Volunteer Service Award – Janell Jessup (right)


ICS 300/400 (commitment to excellence – above and beyond training award) recipients:  Chris Barth, Kelly Benton. Jennifer Burns, Debra Duncan, Larry Ernsting, Sam Graham, Mark Grinstead, Midge Grinstead, Tom Griswold, Susie Hill, Jan Hinshaw, Carolyn Jergenson, Janell Jessup, DeAnn Konkel, Matt Kuestersteffen, Carla Longacre, Charles Loper, Janet McCloud, Christy Million, Sherry Oswald, Paula Schrieber, Carolyn Shultz, Carmen Simon, Kent Thomas, Glenna Walker


Operation “PUP” Tent (teamwork star – above and beyond training award) recipients:Rebecca Arheart, Chris Barth, Kelly Benton, Jennifer Burns, Sheryl Gallagher, Ron Gallagher, Paul Grosdidier, Catherine Janzen, Janell Jessup, Matt Kuestersteffen, Carla Longacre, Shelly Marbut, Stephanie McCall, Christy Million, Mary Prewitt, Sherri Rider, Beth Rowlands, Micki Schomaker, Carolyn Shultz, Carman Simon, Ingrid Trevino-Garrison
Slack Water Training (teamwork star – above and beyond training award) recipients:Chris Barth, Jennifer Burns, Angela Cornelison, Janell Jessup, Matt Kuestersteffen, Carla Longacre, Stephanie McCall, Sherry Oswald, Micki Schomaker, Carolyn Shultz, Kent Thomas

Building Animal Response Teams in Kansas

2012 KVMA Article

By Dr. Christen Skaer, President

Hello everyone from the Kansas State Animal Response Team (KS SART)! It seems impossible that fall is already upon us as the summer flew by!  We’ve been very busy building response teams across Kansas and the Board of Directors is thrilled with the progress that has been made. Our goal has always been to train volunteers in every corner of the State to respond to animal needs during disasters. We began our fight five short years ago following the Greensburg tornado. Today, we have teams in place in all of the seven regions of Kansas! We sincerely thank all of you for your dedication to this important issue and we look forward to many more successful summers.   Read more

Sára Varsa, HSUS

Director of Rescue and Response

HSUS Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response Team 

Meet Sára Varsa at the 2015 Kansas Animal Preparedness Conference.  She will be presenting sessions, sharing her experiences and offering great pet disaster response and preparedness tips!  Read her story, one of her many motivations for the job she does!

In August of 2010, the HSUS was asked to assist in Montana with the humane removal and care of about 95 dogs from a relatively remote property. We knew little about the situation except our expertise was needed as there were no resources in the county for humane rescue and care. The deputy was compassionate and concerned for not only the animals, but also the owner. I remember driving on scene through a picturesque field of sunflowers after traversing a long dirt lane.  Nothing could have prepared me, however, for the reality of the life of “Jack” and his pack. 
Continue reading Sára Varsa, HSUS

Operation “PUP” Tent

2015 KS SART Sponsored Training Exercise

On Saturday, June 25, 2015 several animal response team volunteers from three regional teams converged on Crisis City to train on tent placement, setup and tear down.  These tents were secured by KS SART through an AVMF grant process.  There are 3 20’x20′ tents with sides, lighting a generator and 50 large/medium wire dog kennels housed in an 16′ cargo trailer.  This is a state resource that can be deployed and used as temporary animal sheltering space if needed, anywhere in the state of Kansas as a part of an animal response team deployment.  Volunteers were asked to evaluate the course and some great suggestions were made to improve the next PUP tent exercise, which could possibly come in the form of a large state exercise in 2016 at Crisis City!   Click here to see the training survey results.

KS Dept of Agriculture Donates Supplies

Thank You

In November of 2014, Dr. Tarrie Crnic, director of the Animal Facilities Inspection Program, and her team within the Division of Animal Health, Kansas Department of Agriculture, donated surplus plastic and wire animal crates (some of which were used in the shelter at the Greensburg’ tornado), reptile crates, feed bowls, animal water bottles, and other miscellaneous animal supplies to two county animal response teams, Butler CART and Johnson CART, affiliated with the Kansas State Animal Response Team (KS SART).  Read more… 

The network of Animal Response Teams of Kansas rely on donations, grant funding and volunteers when providing temporary shelter and care for pets displaced by disasters.  If you are interested in getting involved, as a volunteer, a donor, a sponsor or a disaster partner please click here to learn more!


ASPCA Grant for Training


Grant Awarded for Training

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the first grant recipients as part of its Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program—a program that provides much-needed funding, training, and expertise to local communities to better serve and assist animals and pet owners during and after disasters.  Continue reading…