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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Kansas Animal Response Team’s “Dog Wash” Uses Soap & Water To Help Educate Community On Pet Disaster Preparedness

August 8th, 2010 · No Comments

A Kansas animal response team held a fun and creative way to promote preparedness — a “Dog Wash” that doubled as a pet readiness event/fundraiser. According to an article in The Wichita Eagle:

Members of the Sedgwick County Animal Response Team (SCART), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about how to handle pets during disasters, were on-site washing away summertime smelliness, clipping nails and pulling out sticker burrs.

For a suggested $20 donation, dog owners left with fresh-smelling pets and a packet of information instructing them how to prepare for an emergency.

A cocker spaniel named Dexter gets a bath on Saturday outside of GreenAcres Market at Bradley Fair. The dog wash was a benefit for the Sedgwick County Animal Response Team. (Aug. 7, 2010)

A cocker spaniel named Dexter gets a bath on Saturday The dog wash was a benefit for the Sedgwick County Animal Response Team. (Photo: Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

According to the article, SCART’s first big challenge was helping after the Greensburg tornado, which illustrated the need for public education on animal preparedness, according to the team director, veterinarian Christen Skaer:

She and a group of volunteers scoured the town in the days after the tornado, looking for pets in need, many who had been left behind by owners who assumed they’d return quickly to their homes.

“There were about 350 we cared for,” she said, “and very few of them were ever returned home.”

A survey showed that of the people who failed to evacuate their homes after Hurricane Katrina, 44 percent said that they didn’t want to leave their pets behind, Skaer said.

Having a plan in place that allows people to evacuate with their animals saves human and animal lives, Skaer said.

“It makes our jobs a lot easier,” she said. “There’s not a team in the world that can rescue all the animals affected by a disaster, so it helps if people are prepared.”

Thanks to the @SteveisReady Twitter feed for bringing this event to my attention.


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Tags: Pets · Preparedness Events

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