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Dallas County Animal Response Team

Dallas County Animal Response Team

2121 Panoramic Circle, Suite 240, Dallas, TX 75212
Telephone: (214) 653-7980 • Fax: (214) 653-7988


Disasters can take many forms – hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, fires, hazardous materials

It is recognized that any emergency situation that threatens humans also threatens both domestic and wild animals. It may be necessary to provide water, shelter, food, and medical treatment for pets, livestock, and wildlife affected during an emergency situation.

Federal Legislation

During Hurricane Katrina, thousands of animals were stranded and abandoned. In response to the public outrage, President Bush signed into effect on October 6, 2006 the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act. The PETS Act:

  • requires the inclusion of companion animals in disaster planning at the state and local levels;
  • that local and state emergency preparedness authorities include plans for pet and service animals in their disaster plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
  • grants FEMA the authority to assist states and local communities in developing disaster plans to accommodate people with pets and service animals;
  • authorizes federal funds to help create pet-friendly emergency shelter facilities; and
  • allows FEMA to provide assistance to individuals with pets and service animals, and the animals themselves, following a major disaster.

State Legislation

Governor Perry followed with the passage of Texas H.B. 88 on June 15, 2007, which requires that companion animals and service animals be included in Texas County evacuation plans in the event of natural disasters.

Dallas County Planning

Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in recognizing the need for the inclusion of animals in our Emergency Management Planning, has convened the Dallas County Animal Response Team (CART).

The CART is made up of individuals from our community with varied backgrounds, experience, skills, and interests that are related to the care and/or welfare of animals. The CART also serves as an advisement group to assist government authorities in their decision-making process associated with animal-related emergency and disaster situations.

How To be Involved

If you would like to volunteer your time, facility, and/or equipment during a disaster situation involving displaced animals, please contact lisa.tatum@dallascounty.org.

Websites with Information on Animals and Disasters

  • AHA - Animal Emergency Services from American Humane
  • American Red Cross - Preparing pets for emergencies from the American Red Cross.
  • ASPCA - Disaster Preparedness from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • AVMA - American Veterinarian Medical Association
    • AVMA Disaster Preparedness and Response Guide - Download or order "Saving the Whole Family: a disaster preparedness booklet for animal owners" for information on disaster preparedness for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small mammals, horses, and livestock.
  • Red Rover - United Animal Nations Emergency Animal Rescue Service
    • Select Disaster Preparedness - for animal-specific information:
      • List for Dogs
      • List for Cats
      • List for Horses
      • List of Reptiles and Amphibians
  • FEMA - Caring for Animals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • HSUS - Disaster Preparedness Resources from the Humane Society of the United States
    • Disaster Preparedness Resources - download the following brochures:
      • Disaster Preparedness for Pets
      • Disaster Preparedness for Horses
      • Disaster Preparedness for Livestock