MARTINEZ (KCBS)— The recent Napa earthquake presented some stressful challenges for Bay Area residents, but those types of emergency situations can be highly stressful for animals. An animal shelter program in Contra Costa County is getting recognition from supervisors in Martinez.

County Animal Services in Martinez developed Contra Costa County Animal Response Team (CART). Manager Noell Crosse said the program came about shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 where not only did the disaster impact humans, but pet owners had trouble finding their companions.

“[People] were unprepared to take care of their pets during a disaster,” she said.

CART is an advanced program that follows federal guidelines that were established a few years ago.
Crosse said aside from the program receiving recognition from county supervisors, she has 100 trained volunteers who could set up emergency shelters for animals.

“Once we set up those shelters and those animals come in, we have to stay there until those animals come home,” Crosse said.

She said volunteers go through a five-week program covering all aspects of setting up pet-friendly temporary emergency shelters for everything from dogs to livestock and other stranded animals.