Conference provides training for Virginia State Animal Response Teams

July 11, 2011  //  

Virginia Department of Emergency Management


Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
 


CONTACT: 
Robin Schmitz, VASART 
(804) 346-2611 


Bob Spieldenner, VDEM 
(804) 897-6510                       


FOR RELEASE AT WILL
July 11, 2011
                      


Conference provides training for Virginia State Animal Response Teams
Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security is keynote speaker


RICHMOND, VA – The 2011 Virginia State Animal Response Team Summit, July 15 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va., will provide local and state governments, volunteer organizations and individuals with important training that will help them create and practice emergency response plans for Virginia’s pets and their owners. 


“One of the primary goals of VASART is to coordinate the development of Community Animal Response Teams statewide.  The Summit provides the opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and skills that will support the Commonwealth in emergency response,” said Peggy Allen, co-chair of VASART.


Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie Suit’s keynote address will be “The State of the Commonwealth’s Pet Sheltering Program: Where We Are, What We’re Trying to Achieve and How We Get There.”


Other summit sessions will include lessons learned from state managed shelters, the role of the Meadow Event Park in emergency sheltering operations, the public health aspects of pet sheltering and other breakout sessions.


“Recent events have shown that pet owners are more likely to evacuate if they know that there is a place for their pets to go,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  “Continued training will help to strengthen Virginia’s pet sheltering plan and, in turn, help save human lives.”


VASART serves as a unifying network of organizations, businesses, federal and state government agencies and individuals that support the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for emergencies affecting animals.  VASART works with organizations like the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, VDEM and others to coordinate assistance to evacuating pet-owners to find shelters and facilities that will accept pets in response to a governor-declaration of a state of emergency.


The summit agenda and registration are available at http://www.virginiasart.org/.


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Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund