The Kansas State Animal Response Team encourages people with pets to get prepared for
Spring: to grow; to arise from; to be resilient; and in Kansas also
defined as storm season. What you should
know about pets, disasters and the Kansas State Animal Response Team (KS SART)!
Growing animal response, the previous Kansas Animal Response Team and
regional animal response teams; KC Metro, North East, South Central, South
East, and South West have come together as a single, cohesive state team. “The old saying, the whole is greater than
the sum of its parts”applies here.
Bringing these amazing teams together as one is promising, exciting and necessary
to sustain animal response for Kansas” said Ingrid Garrison, DVM, MPH and
president of the reorganized Kansas State Animal Response Team.
Arising from disaster experience, the federal Pets
Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) was passed in 2006. This is important to you and your pets
because it requires emergency management at the local and state level to
address needs for you, your pets and service animals during a major disaster or
emergency. The Kansas State Animal
Response Team works with emergency management to advocate for pets through the
disaster planning process and responds to assist pets during major disasters.
When seasonal storms produce a major disaster,
Kansas State Animal Response Team responds to provide pets comfort and safety
in a pet emergency shelter, while their families seek the same in a human
emergency shelter. The pet emergency
shelter is staffed and operated by trained KS SART volunteers. The availability
of a temporary pet shelter during a disaster increases the likelihood that pet
owners will evacuate to safety when requested or required.
Spring into action, make a plan for yourself
and your pet. Encourage friends, family
and neighbors to do the same. Find help planning
for your pet at My Pet Project: PETS Evacuate
Too! Pets with a plan can save lives!
The Kansas State Animal Response Team is a non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization. This team accomplishes it’s work through dedicated volunteers,
support from other disaster management and response organizations, grants,
corporate sponsorships and donations from caring individuals. To make a difference for pets in disasters go
Shelter Opens for Pets and People in Manhattan Kansas
The North East Animal Response Team and the Red Cross partnered to shelter pets and their families in one co-located shelter in Manhattan, Kansas during flooding this September.
Mary Prewitt with the Kansas State Animal Response team said this decision was long overdue.
“People will cross police lines. They will put themselves at risk and go back to rescue their pets if you don’t provide for pets at the same time you evacuate the people,” she explained.
Click here to read the news story…
Appsheet for Animal Response
Animal in-take and reunion are key pieces of the disaster animal sheltering process. If you don’t track the animals, providing proper care and eventually returning them to their owners is impossible! Paper has been the standard until Appsheet. First implemented and tested during the September 2017 Project Care Exercise and improved upon during the March 2018 exercise, the Appsheet tool used by animal response was developed by the team’s volunteers. Appsheet has been great to work with and offered an extremely discounted rate for the subscription. Read more from Appsheet here…
The Kansas Animal Response Team was recognized by the KC Animal Health Corridor and its partners at the Corridor’s annual Homecoming Dinner in Kansas City on Monday, August 20, 2018. The dinner is an exclusive gathering of animal health industry leaders from around the world to celebrate global industry successes and growth. The Corridor presented KS SART with the 2018 Spirit of Service Award to recognize work in the development of regional animal disaster preparation and response across Kansas. The award came with a $15,000 check and a video about the work. The video, created by the Corridor and premiered at the dinner, will be available to the Team to promote its work in the future. Organizations sponsoring the award were dvm360, Animalytix, and NAVC Publishing. Representing KS SART to receive the award was Mary Prewitt, President; Ingrid Trevino-Garrison, Vide-President and board member Peggy Oertwig. “We are very honored and grateful to receive this award from the Corridor and the sponsors” said Mary Prewitt.
Thank you to the interviewees: Dr Christen Skaer, Tammy Ritchie and Nadine Conner.
Photo- Doug Gross (Patch Staff)
Updated August 29, 2017 11:51 am
KS SART is closely watching the animal response situation in Texas following Hurricane Harvey and is ready to offer assistance IF REQUESTED! Of utmost importance is that NO ONE SELF-DEPLOY!
The nature of disasters is “hurry up and wait”. Texas is skilled at dealing with disasters and has a robust animal disaster response capability. So far, they have handled pet issues locally and have reached out where necessary for assistance with transport and supply deliveries. Pet Friendly shelters have been opened and neighbors are helping neighbors. We are not surprised that they have not called for general outside support yet. Response must be safe for humans and animals, responders and victims.
Again please DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY! Disaster response is a huge challenge and adding unorganized, albeit with good intentions, untrained and unaffiliated responders is NOT acceptable or helpful!
You can make a difference through online donations too. Our recommendations of organizations currently assisting with Hurricane Harvey include:
There isn’t a rescue group in the country who can help everyone. We must be prepared to take care of our families and our neighbors first.
Keeping the storm victims in Texas, and now Louisiana in our hearts and prayers.
Photo: Tiele Dockens
Trained Kansas Animal Response volunteers have been notified and given the opportunity to respond under one of our national animal response partners as animal sheltering volunteers. Some Kansas animal response volunteers are also involved in the hurricane response through remote liaison and resource coordination efforts to support a partner response agency out of Kansas City.
Thank you to those in communities across Kansas who have asked how you can help the animals affected by Hurricane Harvey. The best way to assist is by funding a legitimate animal response organization that is involved and donate money so that supplies can be purchased to help shelter and care for the displaced animals. Be sure you know the organization you are donating to as sadly, scammers will take advantage of this situation.
If this disaster has inspired you to get involved then please take time to first sign up to be a volunteer for the Kansas Animal Response Coalition; and second, to take the required response training to become a certified animal responder. Click here to learn more about how to sign up and where to go for training.
A huge thanks goes to the Florida State Animal Response Coalition for conducting a train-the-trainer workshop in Kansas. “Shelter From The Storm” will be added as the second level to the Kansas animal response training program. For a train-the-trainer workshop you need volunteers and a big thanks goes to the 20 animal response team volunteers who accepted the challenge to become Kansas trainers. Made possible through the generous funding support of the Red Cross and held at the beautiful Kansas Humane Society facility, this project is a shinning example of how non-profit organizations can pull together for the greater good!
Meet the new Kansas trainers:
With tragedies, sometimes there are silver linings. When an EF-5 tornado hit Greensburg 10 years ago, a large number of animals were displaced when 95 percent of the Kansas town was destroyed. Sadly, not many of the pets were reunited with their owners. That disaster brought to fruition, however, an idea that had been considered by several Kansas veterinarians a few years before: a statewide animal response team, or what Wichita vet Dr. Christen Skaer calls a “doggie and cat Red Cross,” to respond to catastrophic events that impact humans and their pets.
Midwestern States Receive $85,000 from ASPCA to Help Animals During Disasters
The Kansas State Animal Response team received $11,500 toward the purchase of a CAMET for the South East Regional Animal Response Team. Tami Johnson, the SE regional team liaison, put in the time and effort to research, write and submit the grant. Tami worked with KS SART for support during the grant process and will continue to do so through the process of spending the grant funds and purchasing the CAMET. Read more…
Congratulations Jennifer Burns, the 2016 recipient of the Christen Skaer Leadership Award recognizing outstanding leadership in animal response team volunteers! Thank you to all the animal response team volunteers! Read more about Jennifer…