June 5th, 2023
By Beth Gammie, Director of Field Services
RedRover Responders’ mission is to help animals in crisis, and one of the ways we do this is to travel all over the county to provide emergency animal sheltering for animals impacted by natural disasters. No matter how mighty our volunteer force is though, we simply can’t meet the immense need for this help, especially in light of a more volatile climate.
The need to increase local capacity to shelter animals impacted by disasters is huge. Because of this, we have taken on training state and local agencies on how to shelter animals in disasters.
Recently, I trained emergency managers at the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness conference in how to set up, staff, and operate an emergency animal shelter. These emergency managers learned why this is so important, and got trained in the “ABCs” of how to do this. Since emergency managers are key to successful animal disaster response, it was wonderful to train these folks and answer their questions.
And in May, I also trained the staff and volunteers of the Truckee, California animal shelter and humane society on how they can do emergency sheltering. High up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Truckee is at great risk from wildfires. Their shelter staff were so appreciative of me to share our experience and strategies for taking care of pets and animals rescued from the field. In the afternoon session, we got into specifics of their facility and organization to talk about helpful ways to manage their emergency sheltering.
I came away from these two sessions so grateful that state, county, and local agencies are interested in this training. They are committed to taking good care of the animals and people in their communities, and are in a much better position to do this, if and when disaster strikes.