Although December is a month filled with holiday joy, the cold weather it brings is a reminder that winter storms are an inevitability. Although said storms can bring some positive results (snow days!), they can also force people to evacuate their homes if there is an extensive power and telecommunications outage. So, what happens to our pets when people have to leave their homes in times of emergency?
That very question was pushed into the national spotlight after Hurricane Katrina when families struggled to stay with their pets or find temporary housing for them during and after the storm. As a result of forthcoming federal legislation, the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team was formed in 2008, with a mission to educate the general public about disaster preparedness for companion animals and have trained volunteers ready to respond in times of disaster.
When there is a blizzard, a hurricane or flooding on Cape Cod CCDART responds to calls from the Barnstable County Regional Planning Committee to provide for rescue, triage, temporary sheltering and/or transport of animals to veterinary clinics, alternate boarding facilities, or one of the 6 pet friendly shelters across the Cape.
In the meantime, they also hold a pet food drive through December and into early January with a goal to sufficiently stock local food pantries. The Donation drop off locations are as follows:
Sandwich, Dennis, Wellfleet, Truro and Barnstable Police Departments, the West Barnstable Fire Department, Mashpee Council on Aging and Mashpee Sun Self Storage.
Our pets are our family, and CCDART is there to make sure they are well taken care of in times of need.