Help During Disaster: State Animal Response Team’s (SART) - Page 2

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Help During Disaster: State Animal Response Team’s (SART)

By: Sally Grottini

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Prepare beforehand:

1) Know your area and the potential disasters that could occur including both natural and man made disaster.

2) Have several escape routes mapped out in case of road closings.

3) Know where drop off shelters are in your area. These shelters may be kennels, schools, hospitals, universities, grooming shops, vet offices, farms, fair grounds, racetracks, equestrian centers or temporary tents.

4) If you cannot safely transport your animals, place notes on the front and back of your home to alert rescue where to find your animals in the home and how many animals you have, as well as where your pet emergency information is.

5) Carry a pet ID card in your wallet with your name and address, your pet's name, and number of pets in your home in case you are rendered incapacitated, so a rescue team can recover your pets.

6). Ensure your pets have some form of identification.

In the event that you are not home when disaster strikes, you can contact SART and when it is safe to do so, SART will retrieve your animals and bring them to a shelter.
Found pets may be brought to a SART shelter and lost pet information can be reported as well.


All pets should have some form of identification to ensure you can be reunited with you animals. Suggestions include:

  • Companion animals: Collar and tags, microchip, and tattoo. If you do not have tags for your animal write the information on the collar in permanent marker.

  • Reptiles: Can be marked on the skin with permanent marker, write information on tape in permanent marker and place onto cage/aquarium.

  • Equine/ livestock: Microchip, tattoo, neck or leg bands, harness marking, ear tags, marking on hooves.

  • Birds: Leg bands. Mark cage with luggage tags, or write information on the bottom of the cage with permanent marker.

  • Pocket pets: Secure lids and doors; write information on cage in permanent marker.

    First Aid Kit:

    SART recommends that you have an emergency kit ready for your pet. This can be placed in a bright tote bag hung in a safe easily accessible part of the home, or kept in your car. The kit should include:

    1.A first aid kit with small bottle of water.
    2.Extra collar, leash, favorite toy, bedding.
    3.Manual can opener,
    4.Up to date shot records and rabies certificates.
    5.The animal's Veterinarian (phone number, address).
    6.Instructions on medications, illnesses, and special needs.
    7.Write down any pertinent information on a piece of paper such any aggressive tendencies, identifying marks, information on tattoos and microchips.
    8.Include a picture of you and your pet together for identification purposes.
    9.On all paperwork include the animal's name and one or two phone numbers where you can be reached as well as leave contact information of at least three friends or relatives.
    10.Ready made notes informing rescue where in the home your animals are, how many animals you have, and where to find your animal emergency kit. These can be placed on the front and back of the home.
    11.All paperwork should be kept in a water proof bag.

    Transporting: (companion animals)

    Have a crate for your pet set up and ready to go. Transferring an animal by crate is the safest way to move a pet. During stressful or frightening times an animal can easily escape a collar or be frightened enough to bite. Label the crate with your information and the animal's information. Luggage tags work well or write the information on the crate in permanent marker.

    Birds should be transported in a secure cage wrapped in a blanket or towel if cold. Bring a misting water bottle to spay feathers periodically. Provide fresh fruit and vegetables. Do not put water in cage during transport.

    Pocket animals should be transferred in a secure small cage with water bottle and food dishes.


    An extra bag of food, enough for three to five days, should be rotated monthly to ensure freshness and should be stored in a dry environment. Canned food has a longer shelf life, but should be checked for expiration.


    Water can be kept in 2 liter soda bottles and put in a dark plastic bag. This should be rotated every three to six months. Provide enough water to last three to five days.

    Water chart companion animal

  • Water for dogs can be gauged by the weight of the dog, approximately one ounce per pound of body weight.

  • Cats require approximately 1 to 7 ounces a day

  • Horses/Livestock (See American Red Cross site)

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