Moffat County Extension holds animal emergency training seminar |

Moffat County Extension holds animal emergency training seminar

Andy Bockelman

Debrah Schnackenberg addresses topics pertaining to animal assistance during a training session for Community Animal Response Teams on Saturday at the Moffat County Extension Office. The seminar let people know the kinds of techniques needed in handling and helping animals in emergencies.

When the worst happens, human beings usually can figure out a way to cope with it. However, animals aren't always able to adapt in a time of crisis, which is why they need our help.

A training session for Community Animal Response Teams took place Saturday at Moffat County's Colorado State University Extension Office. About 20 county residents received a breakdown of the criteria necessary to aid pets, livestock and other types of animals during emergency scenarios.

Debrah Schnackenberg, director of disaster services for PetAid Colorado, spoke to the crowd about many factors that come into play when assisting animals, ranging from relocation needs to proper hygiene for humans and animals alike.

About 60 percent of known human diseases are zoonotic in nature, meaning they can be transmitted from animals, and it's possible for someone who helps a furry creature to contract a zoonotic illness because of improper handling, Schnackenberg said.

CART teams with prepared individuals and planned strategies are needed in rural and urban communities, she added.

"Rural communities often have an advantage because you have more folks who understand animals and more of the mentality of, 'We help our neighbors out,'" she said. "That's a big benefit because you get everyone pulling in the same direction."

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CART teams function much like any other emergency responders, ready to spring into action when they're needed.

Moffat County Extension Agent J.D. Sexton said he has about five people currently trained to handle animals in emergency, and he'd like to be able to triple that number.

Natural disasters could necessitate any variety of assistance, whether a brush fire in the country requires horses and cattle to be moved or unexpected river flooding forces homeowners to evacuate and find shelter for their pets.

"You never know what could happen," Sexton said.

For more information on CART, call 970-824-9180 in Moffat County or 970-879-0825 in Routt County.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

For more information on Community Animal Response Training, call 970-824-9180 in Moffat County or 970-879-0825 in Routt County.

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