Moffat County seeks volunteers for emergency animal shelter | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County seeks volunteers for emergency animal shelter

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe, Commissioner John Kinkaid, Extension Office Director JD Sexton, Commissioner Frank Moe and Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Soos show off the county's new mobile animal shelter.

In an emergency situation, taking care of people is always the priority, but animals are important, too.

Recently, the Moffat County Office of Emergency Management received a trailer full of supplies that will help take care of pets and livestock during emergencies and is working with the Moffat County Extension Office to train volunteers.

The volunteers will make up county's Community Animal Response Team (CART) and help run the emergency mobile animal shelter if it is needed.

"That mobile shelter is a regional asset that can go to the 10 counties of Northwest Colorado," said JD Sexton, extension office director. "What our plans and hopes are is for the Moffat County CART team to be able to utilize that mobile animal shelter if an event ever occurs."

The mobile shelter, which the county was able to purchase thanks to a $32,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, has the capability to house about 100 pets and is equipped with all the gear required to make sure they are safe and sound.

"All sanitation and feeding requirements, housing requirements, it's got a generator, leashes, bowls, safety equipment," Sexton said. "It's just got everything."

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If the shelter needs to be used, all pets coming in and out are documented to make sure nobody loses their animal.

Sexton said there is a lot of pet ownership in Moffat County and if something happens, those animals need to be taken care of just like their owners.

"People will literally put their lives at stake to save their pets," he said. "So, if we're setup to be able to accommodate people's pets… then we're saving people."

Sexton said about three years ago, flooding and wildfires across Colorado revealed the need for a plan and setup that could help handle people's pets and livestock in those types of emergency situations.

Now, Sexton said he has the plan and the equipment, but he still needs the volunteers.

"We've got to get volunteers who are willing to go through a certification process and then once they have that credential they can be a volunteer forever," he said.

Moffat County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Soos said he and Sexton are asking for interested members of the community to reach out to them so they can start certification.

"We'll have a meeting, lay it all out for them and most of the classes they need to do are online," Soos said.

There is also one half-day class that the county will provide free of charge for volunteers seeking certification.

The mobile shelter will be at the Moffat County Fair on Aug. 12 and 13 and anyone interested in volunteering can see it and ask questions.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact JD Sexton at 970-826-3402 or Tom Soos at 970-824-9153.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.