The Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART) is embarking on a campaign to recruit volunteers to serve in the pet sheltering component of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Shelter System.
Holly Rogers, founder and president of CCDART, said, “The hurricanes in Texas and Florida remind us that Cape Cod is not immune to such disasters and highlight the importance of having a regional emergency shelter system like Barnstable County’s that shelters people and pets alike.”
Since 2006 the government has required communities to have plans in place to shelter household pets and service animals during emergencies.Barnstable County has 6 regional emergency shelters, each with a pet shelter plan in hand and a dedicated, highly trained team of volunteers to deliver services.Rogers says both the Barnstable County emergency shelter system and CCDART are highly regarded on both the state and national levels.
According to Rogers, CCDART’s primary mission is “to serve homebound seniors and other vulnerable populations who have pets. These are the people who will need an emergency shelter when the power goes out after a September hurricane or February nor’easter. Knowing they can bring their pets to the shelter is a huge comfort in what can be a very distressing time.”
To accomplish CCDART’s mission, Rogers needs a force of 30 trained volunteers to cover the 5 regional shelters operated by CCDART in the towns of Falmouth, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Harwich. (The Lower Cape Animal Shelter Team (LCAST) manages the pet shelter operation at the Eastham shelter.)
In addition to expanding and refreshing her volunteer rolls, Rogers also wants to enhance the continuity and consistency of program operations. Her ultimate goal is a well-staffed and highly trained “Just In Time” team ready to go on a moment’s notice.
Rogers says the ideal volunteer “is someone who loves animals, enjoys training, and has the freedom to deploy for three or four days, work 12-hour shifts, and sleep on a cot.” She admits those people aren’t easy to find.
For those who would like to learn more about the emergency pet sheltering experience, CCDART is hosting the following Saturday training sessions, each running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
- November 4, 2017 in Dennis
- November 18, 2017 in West Barnstable
- December 2, 2017 in Falmouth
To sign up for a training session send an email to CCDART at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, email address, and contact phone number. Class size is limited so the opportunity is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who sign up will receive an email confirmation after October 1, 2017, with the exact location of the session and training materials included.
Media release furnished by Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee