Animal Emergency Response Teams in Campbell County - - ABC13

Animal Emergency Response Teams in Campbell County


Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Melinda Zosh

Campbell Co., VA - Officials in Campbell County are looking into creating community animal emergency response teams. CART would help residents with their animals in traumatic situations like tornadoes or floods.

Animal Control officials say the concept started back in 2007 in North Carolina after a flood killed many livestock. This plan would not only be for livestock, but household pets too.

"A lot of people have been interested," said Benny David, Campbell County Animal Control officer.

David is the brainpower behind the idea.

"You remember back when Katrina, there were people who refused to evacuate because they didn't have anything to do with their dogs or cats," he said.

He does not want that same situation to happen in his neck of the woods. That is why he would like to see at least five CART teams formed to help people in emergency situations.

It is something that could have a big impact on farmers like Carter Elliott. He has been a dairy farmer since 1978 and has seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

"We got a like 11 inches of rain that month and my lagoon was several inches from over running," said Elliott.

He says the incident 10 years ago could have ruined his business. That is why he is happy to hear about this program in the works.

"By having teams like that you'll be dealing with people, you know, if somebody has a problem with dairy cows or beef cows, the people on the team will be familiar with them," said Elliott.

The teams will be local volunteers who would load up livestock and rescue them. And some more good news, David says it will not cost much.

"We're not looking at any cost to the county right now. It will be all volunteer basis and people providing their own equipment," said David.

Again, this is all in the works. David says this Friday, he will attend a state seminar on how to set up CARTS. He plans to present the plan to the county next week for approval. It could be several months before a decision is reached.

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