Helping Animals in
Disasters via the NACA Disaster Database
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in
August of 2005, animal welfare organizations from across the country responded
to help the animals impacted by the storm.
Unfortunately, with each organization conducting their own response, there
was no coordination amongst the groups. In the aftermath of that storm season,
the major animal welfare organizations came together to discuss how a
collaborative response would benefit the animals, and the National Animal
Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC) was established in early 2006.
In the years since, this collective of
organizations has developed and grown into a strong coalition whose mission is
to identify, prioritize and find collaborative solutions to major animal
emergency issues. The coalition is the
largest collective of experienced, qualified animal rescue and sheltering
professionals in the country and the member agencies have responded nationally
and internationally to natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding, ice
storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and to man-made animal disasters
including puppy mills, hoarders and dog fighting and cock fighting.
National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA) has been a member of NARSC since
its inception and, through our involvement, we have opened new lines of
communication in an effort to incorporate our members into any NARSC response.
National Animal Care & Control Association
It is not a matter of "if” a disaster will strike, but rather "when” and
"where”. When disasters do strike, many
of the NARSC organizations are an integral part of the response and they can
call upon a cadre of volunteers.
However, even these organizations sometimes need assistance, and one of
the most valuable resources that is needed in the response is seasoned animal
control officers and animal care personnel.As a NARSC member, NACA agreed to
maintain a Disaster Database which would include a list of trained individuals
who have expressed a desire to respond in the case of a disaster or other major
The idea of the Disaster Database is to maintain,
in one location, an accessible list of trained individuals who may be called
upon to respond to disasters when they occur. When disasters strike, it is
imperative that resources be available to local, state, or federal entities
that may need assistance. With this database, we will be able to have access to
trained personnel and know what special certification, training or experience
they possess. The database will also provide us with an idea of what equipment
they may be able to provide. The Disaster Database will be accessible by NACA
only. Entities with the authority to request personnel or other resources in
the event of a declared disaster, generally through an Emergency Management
Assistance Compact (EMAC), will only have access to the Disaster Database
information through NACA personnel.
National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition Code of Conduct
The Coalition recognizes that the environment in which we work is complex and
unique. Therefore, the members have established the following standards of
integrity as well as professional and ethical conduct that we are all expected
to maintain. As a member of NARSC, any
personnel responding on behalf of NACA shall agree to adhere to this Code of
- Comply with all local,
state, federal, and tribal laws
- Comply with all safety standards
- Act with integrity
- Comply with coalition
mission and standards
- Respect the community
and coalition members when dealing with the media
- Respect impacted
community’s financial support base
- Treat all partners with
dignity and respect
- Respect partner property
- Comply with NIMS
- Respect member’s
information technology policies
- Maintain and provide
accurate situation and financial reports
When the tornados struck Moore, Oklahoma in 2013,
a call came in to NACA looking for officers that could respond and assist
during the disaster. Sue Baker from the
Plattsmouth Police Department in Nebraska volunteered to assist in the response
and she worked with personnel from the American Humane Association in trapping
and animal search and rescue.
In one of the largest cockfighting investigations
in the history of the U.S., the ASPCA requested assistance from NACA in January
of 2014, and an animal control officer from the Santa Cruz County Animal
Shelter responded to assist.
So How Can You Help?
NACA is looking for Disaster Database applicants.
We ask that all applicants read and agree with the intent of the Code of
Conduct and that you complete the on-line application, making sure to complete
the application in its entirety. Examples of certification and training may
include the following or others; ICS/NIMS Certification, swift or slack water,
high and low angle rope, boat safety, forklift operator, Animal Control
Academies, DART, animal sheltering, large or small animal handling, first aid,
CPR, technical animal rescue, shelter management, animal care technician,
veterinary license, etc.
Your participation in a disaster
NACA the opportunity to showcase the quality of officers and personnel that are
part of our organization;
you to see how the other organizations function in the time of a disaster;
you learn tips and techniques that you can then take back to your agency;
most importantly, help the animals impacted by the disaster.
We understand that it is costly
to respond, so we would look to the other NARSC members to help cover any
expenses related to the response.
Your application, if accepted for NACA’s
database, will place your name on a list of volunteers. NACA will maintain the
database and, when requested by other NARSC members, contact members that meet
the necessary specifications of the NARSC member. Interested? Click the link
below to fill out and submit an application!
NACA Disaster Database Registration Form