DART Team on call 24/7 to provide rescue & relief

Los Angeles, CA – Late Saturday afternoon, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) deployed their elite Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) ™ to the Sand Fire. Stationed at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, the spcaLA team worked a 24-hour shift to keep area horses, livestock, and other animals safe from the encroaching fire.

Through mutual aid efforts, over 700 horses, goats, chickens, and other animals evacuated from Sand Canyon and surrounding areas have been safely housed since Saturday.

“Firefighters I’ve spoken with are saying this is among the worst fires they’ve seen,” said Lt. Cesar Perea, spcaLA Director of Animal Cruelty Investigations. “Hundreds of animals – from horses to tortoises – live in the fire’s path. And, given that containment has fluctuated between zero and 10 percent since Saturday, it is likely that many more animals will need our assistance.”

spcaLA deployed to the South Staging Area at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center with all assets, including its mobile command center, sleeper, horse trailer, and other vehicles, ready to assist with 24-hour coverage as long as assistance is needed. The Center is nearing capacity but other areas, including Pierce College, have opened to animal housing.

spcaLA disaster response efforts are made possible by donations. spcaLA is not a government agency. spcaLA is not a chapter of any other group. There is no national spca or humane society. Individuals wishing to make a tax deductible donation should visit spcaLA.com.

“Animal rescue is one piece of a very sophisticated puzzle in a disaster,” said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein. “Your spcaLA is part of a network of highly-trained organizations, each able to perform unique, vital roles during disasters.”

Unlike other nonprofit organizations, spcaLA is law enforcement and LA-RICS compliant – making it easy for spcaLA and other first responders, emergency services personnel, and hospitals in Los Angeles County to communicate and share critical data. spcaLA and Los Angeles County have held a mutual aid agreement for over twenty years, made formal in 2011 with a Mutual Assistance Agreement. spcaLA, a local, independent, nonprofit, animal welfare agency, comes to the call for aid from agencies across California and the nation.