CMDART – Central Massachusestts Disaster Animal Response Team

About Us

What do we do?

We are prepared to manage animals in disasters or other emergencies when local resources become overwhelmed or need added support. We also provide other prevention and public education services to reduce or minimize the need for disaster response altogether. CMDART actively promotes, whenever possible and reasonable, aiding and supporting owner-assisted care for one’s own animals during a disaster. By aiding the animals during a disaster, we reduce the mental and physical impact of the incident on the animals and humans, reduce the risk to public safety, and reduce the strain on local emergency personnel and resources when pet owners face an emergency and have no plan for their pets.

Where do we serve?

CMDART serves the local and regional communities of Central Massachusetts and Worcester County Region 4 of Massachusetts Emergency Management and Region 2, Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. CMDART has deployed to neighboring states and some of our volunteers have served in national incidents including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Gustav, the Joplin and Western Mass tornadoes, puppy mill, hoarding and dog fighting incidents, aiding victims of local fires, and during weather-related incidents.

If your town wishes to set up an agreement with CMDART, contact [email protected] to arrange a meeting to discuss instituting a Memorandum of Understanding with our organization. Once an agreement is signed, we can assist your Animal Control Officer or Emergency Manager with outreach to establish local emergency animal responders for your community and to search out potential pre-staged emergency animal shelters. Download Map1

What we are not.

CMDART is not a day-to-day rescue or rescue placement organization, but works closely with local animal control officers and other local organizations to find placements or re-unite animals with their owners following an incident.

When and with whom do we serve?

CMDART members do not self deploy. For local incidents in our community, CMDART recognizes the designated lead agent or agency in the disaster operation and will follow the Incident Command System (ICS) under the governing authority, whether that be local animal control, emergency management, the American Red Cross, fire department, or another entity. Members are cross-trained with many other organizations including: The State of Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team (SMART) and national organizations including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Red Rover (formerly United Animal Nations), Noah’s Wish, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), American Red Cross of Central Mass, Medical Reserve Corp, Community Emergency Response and other neighboring DART Teams. Should a statewide or national activation be initiated, CMDART is committed to integrating its work under the direction of Massachusetts Emergency Management ESF 17.