Recent catastrophic events, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, identified the need to provide companion animal sheltering. One lesson learned from that event was that many people would not leave their pets behind, so they did not evacuate when it was still safe for them to do so. Another important lesson was the need to respond to large numbers of companion animals that might be left behind or otherwise become stray, and to design efficient systems for reuniting these animals with their owners.
The Lane County Animals in Disasters (AID) Task Force formed in 2009 to bring together community stakeholders to plan for companion animals and livestock in the event of a disaster. Task Force members include Lane County Animal Services, Greenhill Humane Society, Lane County Veterinary Medical Association, Lane County Public Health, and others active on this issue. The task force drafted a community plan that is part of the Lane County Emergency Management’s Incident Response, and will be activated in the event of a disaster. Work continues to exercise and refine the plan, recruit and train volunteers who will be called to respond during an emergency, and promote individual preparedness in the community.
An effective response during a large scale emergency will require the activation of many community volunteers to help with staffing temporary shelters, staffing rescue efforts, and providing care to animals. The AID Task Force is recruiting individuals with a variety of skills and interests who would be interested in volunteering during an emergency—some volunteers will work directly with animals, and others will be needed in support roles. Volunteers will sign up in advance of the emergency, and will be eligible for a variety of training opportunities that will be sponsored in the community. Training will include an orientation to Lane County’s standard operating procedures for temporary shelters or rescue teams, training in the National Incident Management System that is used across the country in responding to disasters, as well as job-specific training depending on the area of interest for specific volunteers.
To apply to be part of the Animals in Disaster Response Volunteer Team, please download an application. Completed forms should be returned to:
Lane County Animals Services
Animals in Disaster Team
3970 W. 1st Ave
Eugene, OR 97402
Preparing Your Own Family
An emergency can strike at any time—are you prepared to care for your animals? LCAS urges everyone to have a personal plan in place and practice the plan prior to a disaster to make sure you can accomplish a successful evacuation and maintain the safety of your animals. Here are some important things to consider in preparing for an emergency:
- Make sure your animals have identification. This includes a collar and license, a microchip, a tattoo, ear tags, brands, and/or clear identification on a cage or housing.
- Transportation/Housing. For small animals this includes collars, leashes, carriers/kennels, and a pre-arranged evacuation site outside your immediate area. For larger animals it can be more challenging, but should include an evacuation plan including a trailer and a pre-determined site. If you don’t have enough trailers to transport all of your animals quickly, contact neighbors, local haulers or other in advance to create a resource list to use in the emergency.
- Compile proof of ownership and veterinary records. Make photocopies of important documents such as vaccination records, your pet’s microchip and/or license numbers, and any special health issues. Keep current photos of your animals in the evacuation kit, including photos of you and your pet together to help you reclaim your lost animal.
- List of important emergency contacts. Prepare this list now before a disaster strikes. Include address and phone numbers, particularly any after hours numbers.
- Two weeks of supplies. In your kit include a two week supply of food, water, and any medications. Depending on your animal also include a litter box, toys, can opener, or muzzle. Other emergency items such as a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, maps, and trash bags will come in handy.
Lane County Response Plan
Animals in Disaster Resources
Response Team Applications and Forms:
Volunteer Credentialing Requirements
LCAID Code of Conduct
Training Modules and Post Tests
General Website Resources: