Hillsborough County Animal Services is actively seeking reliable volunteers to help staff county pet evacuation shelters during hurricanes or other disasters.
On Saturday, June 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., representatives from Animal Services, Tampa’s Emergency Animal Response Team (EARS), and CHAART (Community of Hillsborough Animal & Agricultural Response Team) will conduct a shelter walk-thru and training session at Sickles High School located at 12835 Citrus Plaza Drive in Tampa.
Volunteers are not required to have formal animal experience, but they should have their own hurricane plans in place. Volunteers should love pets and people, and they need only wear comfortable clothing to Saturday’s training. Individuals are also encouraged to bring their own bottled water to drink.
Earlier this month, Hillsborough County approved use of Sickles High School in the Citrus Park area as the county’s second pet evacuation shelter. Citizens who seek shelter at this facility may also bring their pets, although the animals will be secured in a separate building due to allergic concerns.
Last year, Hillsborough County opened its first pet evacuation shelter at Burnett Middle School in Seffner. Animal Services is currently working with the non-profit group CHAART to gather donations of pet carriers and other supplies for the new pet shelter at Sickles High.
For further information or to make tax deductible donations, log onto www.chaart.org.
We tell citizens to use the county pet shelters as a last resort only because space is extremely limited. Instead, pet owners should favor a plan to take their animals to relatives, friends, pet-friendly hotel or kennel along their evacuation route. Above all, Animal Services asks residents not to leave animals at home to fend for themselves. Further suggestions are available at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices.
For more information on Saturday’s volunteer training or to arrange an interview with a representative, please contact Marti Ryan of Hillsborough County Animal Services at 744-5660 or 356-9711.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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