Animal Response Team & Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters

Dallas County Animal Response Team & Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters

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

The Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management recognizes the importance of including animals in our Emergency Management Planning. As a result, we have established the Dallas County Animal Response Team (CART) to focus on training, recruiting, and retaining volunteers through the Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.

VOAD Logo Image

Dallas County VOAD is an association that brings together voluntary organizations with a mission to respond to disasters. Our goal is to serve as a supportive body for our membership, which includes local organizations and representatives of Dallas County communities. All members adhere to the 4 Cs: Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration.

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

Websites with Information on Animals and Disasters