In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Federal Officials learned that many Gulf Coast residents refused to evacuate without their pets. The residents that did evacuate with their pets found the human shelters unwilling or unable to accept their companion animals.
This prompted Congress to pass the “Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act” or otherwise called the PETS Act. The law requires state and local emergency management officials to incorporate household pets and service animals into disaster preparedness programs.
Cumberland County Animal Response Team held its first informational meeting in September 2008 and currently has about 30 active members.
Our team consists of community members from Cumberland County who have received training in the U. S. Citizens Corps “Community Emergency Response Team” standards, followed by specialty training, incorporating best practices from the Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nation. We have also received training from the Federal Emergency Management Agency following the National Incident Management System guidelines. Some of our members have furthered their education in Technical Large Animal Rescue.
Our mission is to provide community awareness of disaster planning and preparedness for the families of companion animals and as well as large animal disaster preparedness; and to assist in emergency sheltering of companion animals. We operate under the direction of the Cumberland County EMA Director and in conjunction with the American Red Cross.
Under the direction of the Emergency Management Director, our team can be mobilized to provide pet friendly emergency sheltering in conjunction with the American Red Cross human shelters. The pet shelter will be located within walking distance of the American Red Cross Human shelter.
In the event of an emergency, you will be notified via television, radio and Maine 2-1-1, which is Maine’s new emergency information hotline. You will be advised where the “pet- friendly” co-shelters are located.
Preparing your pets for emergencies makes good sense. Get ready now. To download pamphlets, or for more information on how to prepare your pet for an emergency or disaster please visit:
For more information please contact Ron Jones – County CART Liaison, Cumberland County EMA 22 High Street, Unit 1 Windham, Maine 04062 (207) 892-6785.