The Connecticut State Animal Response Team (CTSART) program is a public-private partnership formed for the purpose of preparing for, and responding to, the needs of domestic animals affected by disasters. Connecticut Public Act 07-11 requires that municipalities take into consideration the needs of animals owned by evacuating citizens during disasters.
The CTSART program provides a structure for the purpose of organizing that mechanism.
In each of the 5 Connecticut "Preparedness Regions" animal response is integrated into the overall response mechanism for all hazards and all disciplines. Designated "Emergency Support Function #11" animal protection is considered an essential element to help make people safe, by ensuring the safety of their animals. The inherent principle in this effort is the recognition that people will resist evacuation, or will attempt to re-enter an evacuation zone if they are prevented from evacuating with their animals or if there is no safe place for them to bring their animals to. Such circumstances may lead to unnecessary risks to un-evacuated animal owners, to first responders sent to rescue them and of course to the animals themselves.
The CTSART goal is to facilitate a prompt, effective response when animals are involved in statewide or regional disasters, and to provide technical and equipment support to lesser emergencies at the municipal level, when a municipality is managing their own emergency but has exhausted its own available resources for the animal care mission.
Animal response team programs were first developed in states more frequently affected by disasters than Connecticut, where private and governmental agencies worked together to preserve animal life and minimize avoidable risks to people. In its operation the Connecticut State Animal Response Team does not usurp authority from any state or local agency, but rather creates a resource development and training network that complements existing government and private response mechanisms. CTSART is in the unique position of working with all stakeholders across the state to ensure that Connecticut has ther resources necessary to effectively respond when disaster strikes.
CTSART has assisted all 5 of Connecticut's Preparedness Regions in developing Regional Animal Response Teams. Working within the overall response mechanisms established for the 5 regions and the state, CTSART provides training and support across Connecticut. Learn more about CTSART at www.ctsart.org.