Community Animal Response Team - CART

Our vision is a community prepared to support animals in a disaster.

CART provides professional preparedness response and recovery, resources and community education to ensure the health and welfare of animals before, during and after a disaster. Animals cannot be considered independently of response issues associated with human populations. Animal owners can put themselves and first responders at risk when they take risks in order to save their animals. Animal response issues exist anytime a disaster affects a community. Whether planned for or not, they must be addressed during a response.

When called upon by the City of Colorado Springs, and El Paso County officials, the CART team will respond to the needs of animals in our community. During the Black Forest Fire, our team worked tirelessly to shelter and care for 1200 animals in need. CART members are trained to perform animal (companion and livestock) sheltering operations during emergencies and disasters. Members are trained in animal handling and animal sheltering operations, documenting animal intake, providing care, and reuniting animals with their owners.

Volunteers must be willing to complete numerous training sessions and attend events in order to become a certified CART member. Most trainings and events are conducted during weekends or evenings.

CART needs trained volunteers who can help in an emergency.  Members must commit to ongoing training to ensure they can respond quickly as a team during an event. 

Requirements for becoming a certified CART member are as follows:

  1. Submit a volunteer application
  2. Complete the following FEMA classes online:

3. Once you have completed the above steps, we will schedule you to attend a basic team member orientation and training. This may include a 6-hour Companion Animal Orientation and a two-part Livestock Orientation. The classroom portion is at HSPPR (2hrs) and the hands-on portion is at a horse rescue in Calhan (4 hours).

CART members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in required ongoing training and yearly exercises in order to remain prepared for deployment. We strongly recommend that all members gain first-hand experience in animal care and handling by volunteering at a local animal shelter, equestrian center or boarding facility.