‘Make sure that pet is taken care of’: Butler Co. Animal Response Team prepares for disaster


We’re in severe weather season and that means first responders train so that they’re prepared when a disaster strikes. This includes those who care for animals during these times.

Members of Butler County’s Animal Response Team went through a tornado scenario Saturday afternoon. They say the experience is invaluable, and they also want to remind you to be prepared.

Besides having the supplies.

“Extra plastic crates in the front, towels, sheets, bedding,” said Janell Jessup, Butler County Animal Response Team.

And trailer to move materials.

“We have several crates full of veterinarian supplies,” said Janell.

The Butler County Animal Response Team has the experience to care for your animals during an emergency, thanks to exercises like Saturday’s.

“You’re coming through the entrance of our shelter where we have the intake procedures,” said Janell.

The team was asked to set up an animal shelter as if a tornado had hit the town of Douglass. They have areas for dogs and other animals, as well as a spot for injured or ill pets.

“These may be unknown dogs or dogs that came in that were suspicious, they may have some kind of illness,” said Janell.

Members dogs were used in the training to make it more realistic. It’s all to make sure they can create a safe space if severe weather hits Butler County.

“A lot of times in a disaster, this is all they have left is their pet, this is their one constant and we want to make sure that that pet is taken care of,” said Janell.

The team are volunteers under Butler County Emergency Management, and the director says they like having a strong local response.

“The more that we can do in those first immediate hours after a disaster, the much more effective we’ll be at meeting our citizens needs, as soon as we possibly can,” said Keri Korthals, Butler County Emergency Management Director.

It’s also the season to make sure your pets are ready for a disaster.

“First aid kit for their pets, and then we really recommend pet information sheet that we provide where they can list all the information on their pet,” said Janell.

They also say to have a go bag ready for your pet with these items:

  • Three day supply of food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Toys
  • Extra leashes
  • Clean up materials
  • Bedding
  • Medication
  • Pet information sheet

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