In just a few months, Animal Evac New Zealand now has more trained animal disaster response volunteers than any other organisation in the country. As the only dedicated animal disaster management charity in the country, we have trained more than 160 volunteers through our Foundation Course and can communicate with our team members using advanced SMS platforms offered by D4H Team Manager cloud-ware.
The Ministry for Primary Industries is the lead agency for animal welfare emergency management at national and group level, and we have been engaging with them on how we can work to create better outcomes for animals impacted by disaster. We also have been engaging local authority animal control as they have the mandated responsibility for companion animal care, relocation and accommodation during an emergency.
As Craig Fugate, the former Administrator/Director of FEMA said, he had more people always wanting to volunteer to help the animals than humans in emergency management. Animal Evac New Zealand is about creating community resilience and champions for preparedness in your community.
The community look to Animal Evac New Zealand as a trusted partner because:
We are now looking at forming agreements with local authorities. This involves one of our regional coordinators or co-founders meeting with you to explain what we do and what we don’t do. We simply help you assist the evacuation of animals, search and rescue of animals left behind during or following an evacuation, and provide pet friendly shelters adjacent to welfare centres/civil defence centres. It is then our preference to work with traditional animal sheltering groups to arrange further care in conjunction with human welfare services.
We primarily focus on companion animals, however we also can assist other animal groups subject to capacity. It is our preference, that any high risk animal rescue operations are referred to SPCA National Rescue Unit, Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team or Fire & Emergency New Zealand. Our capabilities are designed to free up such specialist resources given they are limited in New Zealand.
What we can provide:
What we need from you:
We understand animal control budgets vary widely in New Zealand. Our MOU can develop what best works for you, from where we provide a basic free service using best endeavours, or to a contract for service where we can provide guaranteed response and equipment (through trailer/cache lease options). We often will need your support (i.e. letters of support) to assist us seek community grants to help us develop local capacity.
Once we have an MOU in place, your local or group emergency plans will outline the activation process. This usually consists of contacting the local or regional coordinator, who can then coordinate a response using our D4H Team Manager platform. You will then have access to the respective event channel on our D4H Incident Management system so you have access to real-time information on our response. We are only the second organisation in New Zealand to be using this ground breaking GIS integrated technology (the other being Selwyn District Council).
Our national pool of animal disaster responders includes (current or former) veterinarians, emergency managers, disaster rescue and swiftwater rescue practitioners, engineers, animal control officers, veterinary nurses, animal welfare inspectors, equestrian experts, zoo keepers, police officers, paramedics, kennel operators, farmers, counsellors, humanitarian aid workers, nurses, project managers, and more, with several holding advanced qualifications in incident and emergency management.
In the meantime, the government listens to us. In fact, despite our limited resources we have been able to create discussion within government about animal disaster law reforms that have not been achieved by other longer standing animal groups.
To talk to one of our Regional Coordinators, simply contact us and we will connect you with one.