County Animal Response Team (CART)

Chester County has renewed the County Animal Response Team. If you have a passion for emergency services and animals, here is a great opportunity to get involved in a leadership or operational role. Previous animal handling experience is welcomed but not required.

What Is A CART?
"A Community (or County) Animal Response Team (CART) program is a network of animal and animal-agricultural resources that are available for planning, prevention, protection, mobilization, response and recovery related to emergency incidents within their community" (credit: City of Chesapeake CART)

What Role Does a CART Play In A Disaster?
During Hurricane Irene, the Department of Emergency Services coordinated a regional effort to provide sheltering for animals. To fill an unmet need, Berks County CART was dispatched to establish an animal shelter in conjunction with the human shelter. In a show of support, the Chester County SPCA arranged for local volunteers to assist the effort. The end result was that 3 dogs and 1 cat were successfully housed at Downingtown East High School while their owners stayed at the human shelter. During the event, donations were received from PETCO and Concord Pets. Moving forward, the goal was for Chester County to be able to handle their own needs and to be in a position to offer mutual aid as necessary. During Tropical Storm Lee, Chester County had a mutual aid agreement in place for pets to be brought to the Pottstown Shelter if necessary. CARTs also play a role in emergency responses involving large animals.

For more information or interested in joining CART;
Janet Zeis
Volunteer Management Coordinator
Chester County Department of Emergency Services
601 Westtown Road, Suite 012
West Chester, PA 19380

Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team; visit

Read about community partners helping after an emergency in North Coventry; "Humane Society, Sly Fox Collect Goods for Pet Owners Affected by Fire" (Pottstown Mercury)