CMDART – Central Massachusestts Disaster Animal Response Team

Plan • Prepare • Respond


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.

Introduction to Animal Disaster Services and Basic Emergency Animal Sheltering (EAS)

Saturday May 11 - 9 a.m-3 p.m

Charlton Senior Center 37 Main Street, Charlton, Ma 01507

This training is in partnership with Emergency Management and the Animal Control Officers of the eight towns in the Tri-Epic region.

Local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTS) will participate and be trained to help strengthen response capabilities in their towns.

Download info here

Special thanks to our sponsors: The Sutton Lions Club and Lucky Paw Lodge.

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 8.37.36 AM
Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 8.37.44 AM

Introduction to Animal Disaster Services

and Basic Emergency Animal Sheltering (EAS)

Sunday, May 19, Murdock Middle High School
3 Memorial Dr, Winchendon, MA 01475 9 a.m-3p.mish

Training in partnership with Emergency Management and the Animal Control Officers of Athol, Winchendon, Orange, Royalston, Irving, Gardner and other Northwest Worcester County towns. Local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTS) will participate to help strengthen response capabilities in their towns.

CEU’s for Animal Control and Veterinary Technicians pending approval.

9-12:30 a.m. Part I Classroom instruction:
Through films and lecture, participants will learn the best practices for being an animal responder in a disaster, EAS including intake protocols, interviewing skills, working with partner organizations in co-located shelters. The course will cover the basics of local, regional, and national response systems (animal response as it fits into the Incident Command System), psychological aspects of working a disaster for you and the client, kinds of EAS shelters, communication in a disaster, shelter assessments, Assistance animals in a shelter; coping with resources/ volunteers and “stuff” (donations), animal handling in stressful conditions and more.
A light lunch and refreshments are being donated. Please note diet restrictions when registering.

1-3ish p.m. Part II Experiential Hands On Practice (Part 1 required)
The second half of the day will be a live set up and practice of a basic (mock) emergency animal shelter including assessing supplies needed, shelter set up, intake procedures, use of a scanner, basic medical issues/limitations and referral, security in the shelter, coping with varied populations of clients and animals, practice techniques with animals, liaison with animal control. (Please note, only non-reactive animals are used for the training)

Instructors: CMDART, local animal control, local vet techs/veterinarians.

Sign up here     Download Flyer
Deadline May 17, 5 p.m. CMDART message line is 508-803-1989 for additional questions.


Special thanks to our sponsor:
Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 8.44.33 AM

One of CMDARTs Greet, Reach, Teach programs held tonight June 28, 2023 was Reading and Handling Animals Under Stressful Conditions. The goal of the program was to help  emergency response teams, CERTS, Red Cross, and others,  to learn how to manage animals and pet owners affected by emergencies/disasters. It was a nice collaboration between community teams and animal control.. We thank the Community Foundation of North Central Mass, the Fitchburg Fire Department, and Animal Control from Fitchburg/ Leominster,  Holden Sterling For helping to make this a fun learning experience tonight.


Report on Recovery Resource Center (RRC) response Leicester, MA

Screen Shot 2022-09-09 at 10.27.11 AM

August 30, 2022

Following up after a fire at a Senior Housing unit there was an RRC – Resource  Recovery Center set up by Leicester  Emergency Management . Because some of the residents own pets, CMDART was asked to participate. Pat Dykas, Animal Control Officer for Leicester and Worcester, dropped off some donated foods prior to the start of event.  JoAnn Griffin picked up other supplies from Sterling Animal Control  Officer, Kelly Jones.

 JoAnn and Cathy Stone  set up and manned the CMDART table with the assist of member Dianna Provencher who is also a Selectman for the town of Leicester. Six (6) pet owners were affected totaling 8 cats and 2 dogs, of those 4 cat owners accepted donations of food and toys. One  dog owner had a rep come for information, but did not seek supplies; 1 cat owner also did not seek out assist while there.

We are pleased to say that several other workers from agencies stopped to tell us that pets were an issue they have never given a thought to until seeing us at the event and how great it was for us to do this. They took information for future use. All remaining donations will be stored in a safe secure location for future needs.

Screen Shot 2022-09-09 at 10.26.53 AM
Screen Shot 2022-09-09 at 10.26.34 AM
CERT Rodeo Training
Approximately 150 people attended the Massachusetts Emergency Management sponsored Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rodeo rally today in Leicester. CERT teams from across the state attended to get a refresh on learning to re-establish local teams and get a refresh of training for Sheltering, search and rescue and other community organizing needs to prepare for local emergency management incidents. 
cmdart 20220423_115612

Larry Holmberg,  Hampshire Emergency Response Team (left) talks to some local CERT members about animal Disaster response.

cmdart 20220423_115704

The Salvation Army provided lunch for all of those who attended.

cmdart 20220423_115645

Larry brought their DART trailer from Western, Mass.

cmdart 20220423_115638

Leominster Emergency Mgmt CERT.

CMDART needs your help with with some needed repairs (tires, maintenance) on our trailers as well as replace some torn protective covers. Some of our trailers have not had new tires since the trailers were purchased or acquired. Trailers that sit in the sun and weather get rotten tires.  
We are also seeking funds to purchase portable, cardboard pet carriers, portable bowls, slip leashes to offer at Resource Recovery Sites when called. We also help supply emergency pet supplies to the American Red Cross in Central Mass for local fires involving pet owners.

Thank you!

To our sponsors who helped make our
recent Assistance Animals live
webinar so successful.


Kyiv zoo workers stay behind to care for animals amid Russian invasion

dog pict

One of the shelters being supported by IFAW in Ukraine

How animals in Ukraine are being rescued during war

By Manish Pandey
Newsbeat reporter

Full Story

More than one million people have now fled Ukraine, with the EU suggesting that number could rise to four million.

The scale of the tragedy is still unfolding - and while the focus is rightly on the humanitarian disaster, it's meant some people have had to make agonising decisions about what to take with them.

And that includes what happens to their much-loved pets.

"The devastation caused by some of these rocket attacks, that open environment full of glass, concrete and metal is dangerous to people but also to animals," James Sawyer, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

His organisation supports shelters in Ukraine and has been supplying resources like food, veterinary supplies and paying the wages of staff during the war to ensure animals can carry on being looked after.

"Local supplies are running out, one of the two animal shelters we support has been damaged by shells, losing one of the animals," he adds.


Emergency support

James says it's "too unsafe to be able to put boots on the ground", so the IFAW is focusing on the best possible support remotely.

They've been providing emergency aid to staff who've reported a dire situation with 1,100 dogs in their care.

And staying to look after the animals is obviously dangerous. At one shelter, staff say they're too scared to light a fire in case it draws unnecessary attention.

Crossing the border

There are also issues trying to evacuate across the border, with rules around microchipping and vaccination for animals normally in place.

PETA Germany has been on the border trying to "shepherd animals out safely", according to Jennifer White from the animal rights group.

Like IFAW, she says the group is working with partner organisations in neighbouring Romania who've managed to get into Ukraine to rescue abandoned animals, along with offering to vaccinate dogs and cats.


She says two tonnes of cat and dog food have been donated, as well as giving blankets to people who've been walking vast distances.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
Presentational white space

When you think of animals, it's not just about household pets.

"Whenever an area is hit by war, those animals stuck in the zoo are dependent," Jennifer says.

Reports suggest animals from the Save Wild bear sanctuary near Kyiv were transported to Poland, where a zoo has offered them refuge for the duration of the war.

But that's not the case everywhere, with staff at the Kyiv zoo reportedly saying the opportunity to evacuate its animals has now well and truly passed.

"It's almost impossible to evacuate animals, because it's impossible to provide appropriate veterinary service and transportation," says Kyrylo Trantin, the zoo's chief.

What can people in the UK do?

Jennifer says people should be writing to their MPs to urge government action on relaxing rules to allow entry for people in the UK with their companion animals.

A statement by DEFRA says are "strong biosecurity measures in place to protect the public and other animals from diseases".

But it adds it recognises "the difficult and distressing situation" that Ukrainian nationals faced and the UK government was "looking at options to provide support" to those entering the UK with their pets.

The charity Paws And Whiskers Sussex say they are working with groups in Romania, trying to empty as many shelters there to make space for Ukrainian animals, by getting the animals to the UK.

"The plan is once the Ukrainian animals have received veterinary care and assessments, then we can also begin to find homes for them as well," says Hannah Carter, director of the group.

James adds people shouldn't travel to the war zone and instead should support organisations doing expert work.

"Most importantly, you need to remain committed for the long-term, because solutions for people and animals require that commitment and approach."



Pet First Aid Training & CPR


Would you like to reduce your trips to the veterinary?
Want to know how to help your pet in an emergency?


Twenty-four (24) people attended the Pet First Aid Training sponsored by the Central Mass Disaster Animal Response Team today (March 7, 2020) at Fitchburg Fire Dept.

Fitchburg/Leominster and Sterling Animal Control,  Fitchburg and Leominster Emergency Management  and CMDART volunteers practiced CPR, wound wraps, checking for vital signs, basic first aid and much more.
The course was taught by Honor Blume of Pet Tech who is also a member of the Berkshire DART team. CMDART also held the same course February 16 at Webster FD with 21 attendees. 
Several participants have signed up for CMDARTS upcoming animal disaster training course being held March 21 in Templeton.
For more information, contact [email protected]

Greet, Reach, Teach Gathering


CMDART  held one of its Greet, Reach programs, to provide an opportunity for our volunteers to gather together, enjoy meeting, and learn some new skills together.  Our special guests were from the Humane Society of the United States talking about our year-long deployment of volunteers to aid emergency animal sheltering for the Great Dane incident in New Hampshire.  more than 500 volunteers from cross the country, including 12 from our team, deployed to aid the massive task of doing emergency animal sheltering for 84 Great Danes who eventually were re-homed.

The second Greet, Reach Teach, included guest speakers Michael Keiley, from the MSPCA, speaking on their response to the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion. CMDART had readied volunteers and equipment for mutual aid, but eventually only supplied goods to some of the shelters set up in that area.  Ilene Segal, DVM, from SMART, also joined us at G,R.T, to help us review some basic vital signs and pet first aid we would do at an emergency situation/shelter.

We were glad to have a couple of animal control, members of the local CERT teams,  and Medical Reserve Corps attend the events held at the American Red Cross building in Worcester.   
Petco Love Lost Summer Toolkit Available Now!
Summer is here, and with the 4th of July around the corner,
it’s more important than ever to help your local community keep their pets from going missing!
We’ve created a Summer Toolkit featuring lifesaving materials and tips from
The toolkit includes:

Premade social media graphics and suggested captions

Customizable press release

Email template and banners


Planning to Evacuate with Your Pet


Click Here To Read About Disaster Preparedness For Your Pet

Just as you would with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for your pet’s survival and care after a disaster event.


Read FEMA’s Pet Owner’s Fact Sheet Here


ProPac offers a tremendous selection of pet care products during times of an emergency.
Below are a sample of these items, plus you can find more online here.

Pet First Aid Pouch Kit
Handy Grab and Go® Pet First Aid kit is ideal for home, travel and outdoor activities. This kit is ideal for dogs under 40 pounds and cats.
          • Compact, moisture resistant standup pouch fits easily into a backpack, glovebox or drawer.
          • Easy to carry and resealable
          • Pouch features see-through back to find what you need fast!
          • Tough metal foil/plastic laminate on the front.
          • Measures 6″ W x 9.25″ H x 2.5″ D
          • Product weight 9 oz.



Visit our photo page for more wonderful photos!