CMDART is an independent, charitable, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. We provide information, training, support, supplies and personnel to help plan, prepare and respond to aid animals affected by man-made or natural disasters at all levels of disasters according to our capabilities and resources.


California’s deadliest wildfire leaves thousands of animals in need of rescue

by: Shannon Walajtys
Posted: Nov 15 2018

The Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in California’s history, has consumed a staggering 140,000 acres—and it’s still only 40% contained.

The fire’s ferocity and immense speed forced people to flee quickly and many were separated from their pets in the rush. Due to restrictions at human shelters that do not accommodate pets, many people who rescued their pets from flames had to drop them off at temporary animal shelters run by North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), a well-respected animal welfare organization.

As the number of animals in Butte County’s shelters climbed to nearly 2,000 and with many more animals behind fire lines in need of rescue, our partner NVADG called on IFAW’s disaster response team for support.

This arm of IFAW is made up of a team of emergency rescue experts ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice for disasters both stateside and abroad.

Our disaster response team immediately assembled, drew up plans, packed necessary equipment, and joined our friends at NVADG in Chico, California.

Upon arrival, the team learned that critical and costly wildland fire protective gear, essential for safely rescuing animals behind fire lines, and several radios were lost in the fire. The team acted quickly and located a nearby distributor of the gear to order replacements—which arrived in less than 24 hours. This has allowed animal rescues to continue seamlessly and safely.

One of the community’s largest needs is for temporary animal shelters and our disaster response team has served a key role in fulfilling this need by offering their animal welfare expertise. In addition to rolling up their sleeves to clean cages, walk dogs, and calm frightened cats, the team is providing guidance on shelter operations to the amazing stream of local volunteers offering their precious time to help those in need. It’s not just cats and dogs that are arriving in shelters, but also chickens, bearded dragons, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits, brightly-colored macaws, and rats too — all receiving the unique care they need. As reunification processes continue, the stress is alleviated ever-so slightly from people dropping off or searching for their beloved pets.

IFAW responders are also supporting animal search and rescue missions behind fire lines, and will continue to do so in the coming days.

One bright point that’s impossible to miss in all of this devastation is the fierce altruism and big-heartedness of Californians who are offering to help both people and animals. Even those whose homes were completely lost in the fire are at the front lines, working tirelessly to take care of those in need as this massive rescue and recovery effort continues.

California communities rally to save animals caught in wildfires

Dear Team Members….

Because of the anticipated storm tomorrow night (Nov 15), we are cancelling the in-person training/gathering at Red Cross, Worcester and instead will be offering a call-in training tomorrow night. You are invited to call in at 7 p.m. sharp to hear Lindsay Hamrick, NH Director for the Humane Society of the United States, talk about the one-plus, year-long emergency animal sheltering experience they led to care for 84 Great Danes found in deplorable conditions in NH.  We will compliment Lindsay’s talk with reflections from some of our Mass volunteers who responded over the year-long effort of caring for these great animals.   

Following the Great Dane portion, CMDART will give an update of our mission efforts. We MAY also have a surprise call from one of our volunteers working in the California wildfires. 
Here is the call-in information for tomorrow nights call.  
515-603-4923 Dial In number 
Access code   85531
Please check your in-box tomorrow about 1 p.m.for some attachments to help you through the talks tomorrow night. We would ask also, that you connect with our registrar, Tiffany, at to let her know you will be attending the call.   
We then look forward to seeing you in person on Dec 2, 2-5:30 for our second winter offering of Greet, Reach, Teach with the Topics of the Merrimack Gas Explosion and Triage Basic First Aid.  


Tags for Tails” 2018  benefits animals in disaster


            Douglas – Have you started your spring cleaning? Do you have a move planned and need a great cause to donate your stuff to? Are you an expert at holding yard sales? 

The Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team (CMDART) will hold its  seventh annual “Tags for Tails” yard sale June 2, 7– 5 p.m. (rain or shine)  at the Douglas Fire Department and Highway Barn Lawn on Rte. 16, Douglas. We will start taking items second week of April following our April 7 (training) until noon on May 30.  Severe rain prediction, sale will be held June 3.

CMDART is in need of people who can assist the collection, organizing and pricing of items prior to the event and helping the day of if possible.  Also, if you are having a yard sale and want to make a small contribution to the team, it is greatly appreciated.  

Disasters, including fires, winter storms and other incidents are increasing. CMDART needs funds to maintain the mission of helping our communities to plan, prepare and respond when animals are affected by disasters. The proceeds of this sale help to fund some basic costs for the team’s continued service each year such as management of our disaster response trailers, sponsoring disaster trainees and materials, purchasing public prevention education materials and more.  

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The animals could use your help more than ever this year, and the timing is right. Last year, Pet Rock moved to its new home venue of Wyman-Gordon in North Grafton, MA, where we will return for a second time on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, from noon to 5 p.m. This centrally-located, easy to get to venue with thousands of parking spaces and plenty of land makes it our most ideal venue yet. That means more turnout, that means more exposure, that means more of a chance to help animals who desperately need us.


That’s where you come in. We know you get a lot of appeals, but we promise ours is worth it.


While the economy is in an uptick, it’s still causing a struggle for many families, so you can only imagine how animals, too, are feeling some of the worst of the effects. Often, they are the first to be cast aside. From domestic pets to sanctuary/farm animals to other rescue and animal welfare efforts, they are all waiting – hoping someone will care.  We care, but we can only extend our help with your help.


We Are Pet Rock Fest and I am writing to you to ask you to join our efforts.  We can’t do this alone. Pet Rock Fest relies solely on donations and sponsorships to survive, particularly sponsorships for our annual festival, the flagship event of our organization.

Pet Rock Fest Is:

  • A fun-filled family style charity event designed to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership, adoption of pets from shelters and rescues, and a range of animal welfare related topics.

  • The largest show of its kind produced and managed by a non-profit organization, donating proceeds to worthy animal welfare organizations throughout New England.

  • A day that features demonstrations, live music, vegetarian food (with new vendors sponsors by New England VegFest), vendors, contests and hundreds of animal welfare organizations.

This year, Pet Rock is celebrating our 20th anniversary. It’s happening on Sunday, Sept. 9 on the grounds of the Wyman-Gordon plant in North Grafton. We are the largest event of its kind in the Northeast, and are one of the most effective events in uniting animal welfare activists and animal lovers with the many adults, children and dogs who attend each year.

How can you help?

Please consider sponsorship or donation. It all counts.

  • Affiliate your company’s name with an event that reaches thousands of people.

  • You can help them, and also gain the visibility to boost your own sales.

  • Pet Rock is not only recognized in New England, but draws visitors – and support – from throughout the country.

  • Some sponsorship levels include ads in the Pet Rock Fest Program Guide produced by the Telegram and Gazette. This guide goes out to thousands of festival attendees

  • We also graciously accept raffle donations; Pet Rock has a large raffle tent during the event. Donated prizes, too, can be used for various contests, also giving your business visibility. Many businesses take part in donating items for our popular goodie bags, which we hand out at the gate.

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Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team, Inc.

         “Emergency Animal Disaster Services and Sheltering “

April 7, 2018, all day, two-part program 8:30 a.m-4:00 p.m.

Produced in cooperation with Fitchburg Emergency Mgmt.

Location for training – Fitchburg FD, 33 North Street, Fitchburg. 

(Full Story)

Hurricane/ Disasters 2017