Southern California is subject to many types of natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, and floods. Local emergencies such as power outages, chemical spills, or other events can also disrupt normal activities. Being prepared for these situations will help you protect your pet.
The Department is prepared to respond to most disasters within our service area. We have Mutual Assistance Agreements with other animal care and control agencies within and outside of Los Angeles County.
The primary goals of our Animal Emergency Response are
To minimize animal suffering and loss of life
To protect the health and safety of the public throughout the County
To provide for the immediate care, control and safety of animals
To provide care and shelter for displaced animals when their owners may have to be housed at a temporary shelter
To provide a system for identifying and reuniting animals with their owners after an emergency event.
It is estimated that more than half of Los Angeles County households include domestic animals. Any natural or manmade disaster may result in potential public health and safety threats and may cause the displacement and evacuation of large numbers of people and their animals. To help ease the anxiety (of both the pet and pet owner) during these times, the Department utilizes rescue trailers that can house displaced animals near their owners at Red Cross centers.
Equine Response Team (ERT)
ERT is a team of specially trained volunteers who provide emergency evacuation and temporary sheltering for horses and livestock in need of evacuation and care. Situations requiring ERT include wildfires; mudslides, or other natural disasters; manmade disasters; and the rescue of large numbers of animals from inhumane conditions. ERT volunteers receive specialized training by Department-authorized instructors regarding safe and humane animal handling, trailer loading and transportation, operating emergency animal sheltering facilities, and fire behavior and safety. ERT volunteers also educate the public regarding the importance of preparing for emergencies.