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Learn how you can help pets during hurricane season | Events

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Learn how you can help pets during hurricane season
Events, Pets
Learn how you can help pets during hurricane season

Hillsborough County, FL -- With the most active months of the 2011 hurricane season ahead, Hillsborough County Animal Services will host disaster training to recruit volunteers to assist at emergency pet shelters in the event of local disasters (natural or man-made).

The theme of bay area community preparedness for animals is: Because the ENTIRE family matters!

A special one-day course titled Awareness Level Emergency Sheltering is scheduled for Sunday, July 31, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hillsborough County Animal Services facility located at 440 Falkenburg Road, North in Tampa. The course is open to adults 18 years and older, and space is limited.

The awareness level course is designed to familiarize community animal advocates, volunteers, and future animal professionals with the chain-of-command and skills necessary for quick and effective emergency response to animal-related disasters.  

Wide ranging course topics include: 

  • protocols for proper kennel and shelter set-up
  • cleaning and disease control
  • animal behavior, personal preparedness & safety
  • stress management
  • code of conduct; security procedures, and an overview of FEMA's Incident Command System.

Professional animal responders from both Hillsborough County Animal Services and the Florida State Animal Response Coalition (SARC) will team up for this special day of classroom and hands-on instruction. 

Attendees should wear closed-toed shoes and comfortable clothing; one-hour lunch is to be self-provided.

The Awareness Level Emergency Sheltering course is sanctioned by the State Animal Response Coalition (SARC), and the University of Florida. A $50 course fee includes a student manual, with proceeds to benefit Florida SARC (registered 501(c)3).

To register for the class, go to www.flsarc.org or call 352.658.1224.

During disasters, Hillsborough County Animal Services is responsible for ESF 17 (Emergency Support Function for animals). Hillsborough County currently has four approved pet-friendly evacuation shelters located within existing Red Cross Shelters. Reservations for pet shelters are not accepted in Hillsborough County.

Pets will be sheltered on a first-come, first-served basis when pet owners stay at the corresponding Red Cross shelter location. Shelters will open upon order of the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Manager.

Since public shelters offer very limited space for animals, it is vital that residents have an emergency plan to include pets -- because the ENTIRE family matters!

For more information on disaster preparedness for pets, the current list of pet-friendly shelters in Hillsborough County, or to learn more about volunteering, log onto www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices or call Hillsborough County Animal Services at 813.744.5660.

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