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Iowa Training to Help Animals in Disaster

National Workshop Comes to Cedar Rapids; Feb. 13 Registration Deadline

The Humane Society of the United States

When emergencies hit, having a plan can save a lot of lives — a plan for people and pets. A workshop coming to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in February will familiarize participants with the coordinated response structure used in disaster situations and train them to be effective emergency animal relief responders.

"Disaster Animal Response Team" or DART workshops are three-day courses designed to train participants for emergency animal relief situations, such as the aftermath of floods and hurricanes or even wildfires or tornadoes. Everyone is encouraged to register and attend DART training as it enables participants to assist during a crisis. The courses include classroom training as well as specialized exercises to encourage role playing and quick response in an emergency situation. Course graduates will have a basic understanding of disaster response for animals and will be in a position to help develop their own local DART teams.

Participants have been deployed to help The Humane Society of the United States team of disaster responders in response to incidents such as Hurricane Katrina and last year's floods in the Midwest.

"At its peak, the emergency shelter set up at Kirkwood Community College housed more than 1,200 displaced animals," said Tammy Stern, one of the hundreds of volunteers who assisted lost and injured pets after the 2008 Midwest floods hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "Taking care of those animals was around-the-clock work, but it was well worth it to provide comfort and hope to both humans and animals affected by the floods." 

WHO:  Humane Society University 

WHAT:  Disaster Animal Response Team (DART)


Cedar Rapids, IA
Friday, Feb. 27 – Sunday, March 1, 2009
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. (Friday only)
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)
8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Sunday)

Classes will be held at:
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd., SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406

Cost:  $125 if registered by Feb. 13, 2009
Late registration is sometimes accepted.

Late registration is sometimes accepted. Register online at humanesociety.org/university. Type in the keyword "DART" to locate the course. For late registrations or group registrations, please contact Frances Gaeta at register@hsus.org.

For more information about Humane Society University, DART training and to register, visit the Web site at humanesociety.org/university and type in the keyword: DART.

Humane Society University offers on-site workshops, online courses and degree programs to help volunteers and animal care workers gain the skills needed to maximize their ability to help animals. Humane Society University is the training arm of The Humane Society of the United States. Workshops are offered online or at host facilities nationwide.


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org. 

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