CDART trains North Okanagan volunteers

Regional group looking to form to help animals in cases of emergencies and disasters

During the wildfires of the summer of 2017, Lavington’s Vanessa Robert offered herself as a walk-in volunteer to help with animals at the emergency hub in Kamloops.

Robert, owner of The Crate Escape Dog Adventure, had trucks and saw the need for help for the animals and their owners affected or displaced by the fires.

“I did a lot of animal rescue, hauling of hay, but I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing,” said Robert. “I would get sent out by somebody who had gotten a text. It was really unorganized.”

Robert realized how fortunate the North Okanagan has been when it comes to wildfires, but if the time came for the region to be prepared, she wanted some form of organization to help people and help the animals. She wanted a group that would be great to have, but hope to never have to use it.

Paying it forward, Robert hounded the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) organization to come to the North Okanagan and provide training. The hounding paid off as group members were out at Robert’s Lavington ranch offering two days of training to about 10 people from the North Okanagan, Kamloops and the Shuswap.

CDART is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to animal welfare in times of a disaster or emergency, by providing sheltering, fostering or rescue of domesticated animals.

“We cover natural disasters, the large ones, like wildfires, but it can also be smaller disasters like an apartment fire, or evacuation because of a bomb scare, meth lab or a train derailment with some chemicals,” said Cheryl Rogers, CDART’s national coordinator. “We’re here this weekend training people so they can respond locally on behalf of animals and disasters.”

With training completed, those who took part – including Robert – will have the basic knowledge to set up a temporary animal shelter, provide supplies and support to people who have been evacuated with their animals and to get permission from local emergency authorities to go into a region and evacuate animals that were left behind.

They’ll also be able to go into evacuated areas (with permission) and water, feed and clean animals that owners don’t want removed, and they will find and set up foster homes for the animals, provide pet first aid if needed and, regrettably, take care of any deceased animals and support their owners.

Rogers said starting a regional team will be a benefit.

“It will be a small but mighty group,” she said. “They would be deployed by local authorities (CDART never self-deploys, said Rogers), contact their local contacts and get their team out.”

Two years of asking CDART to come up and provide training was well worth it, said Robert.

“It’s been awesome to get the information and have such an awesome group of people willing to step up and move forward into a leadership role with CDART so when all the walk-in volunteers come forward, there’s at least a group of people who knows what’s going on,” she said. “They can delegate and organize and make it a functional and successful (animal) sheltering situation.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

Vernon Chamber says 2020 budget lacklustre for small buisnesses

‘There was absolutely nothing meaningful in the budget for entrepreneurs,’ Chamber GM

Vernon paying more at pumps than Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan pump prices fall, North Okanagan lags behind

Dust advisory in effect for Vernon

Keep strenuous exercise away from busy streets, intersections

Vernon reporter’s roots linked to Montreal school fire that killed 17

Vernon and District Family History Society runs open house during Heritage Week

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Most Read