Workers Train to Deal with Displaced Animals in Disasters

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ About 100 veterinarians, animal control officers and emergency responders met in Wichita this weekend to learn more about victims often overlooked in disasters: pets and other animals.

The training conference is the first for the Kansas State Animal Response Team, formed in 2004. Among the group's goals is to expand
the 13 animal response teams already at work in Kansas and spread
them across the state.

Christen Skaer, a Wichita veterinarian and directors of the state and Sedgwick County animal response teams, says emergency managers are typically so focused on saving humans during tornadoes, ice storms and floods that animal welfare is an afterthought.

Besides organizing the response teams, the two-day conference was aimed at training people to provide shelter and first aid for animals, recruit volunteers, deal with livestock and exotic animals, manage stress and handle aggressive animals.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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