U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Resource: Animal Protection: Small Animal Rescue Strike Team
Category: Animals and Agriculture Issues
Kind: Team
Minimum Capabilities (Component) Minimum Capabilities
Type I Type II Type III Type IV Other
Personnel Number of People Per Response

6-member team consisting of:
• 1 team leader
• 5 team members

Personnel Deployment Duration

Deployment of this team would be for 7 days on rotation; A minimum of 3 teams should be deployed for 24-hour rescue, 1 team per 8-hour shift



3 vehicles – 2 persons per vehicle



Each vehicle should be equipped with basic animal capture equipment, including, but not limited to, the following:
• Small and large live traps
  (1 each)
• 2 catch poles
• Leashes (slip leads and
• Stretcher
• ID bands
• Collars and ID tags
• Cages, carriers, and
  cardboard cat transports
  (at least 1 per animal)
• Appropriately graded
  NFPA or Cordage Institute
• Industrial Lighting Systems
  and Batteries: (Flashlights
  to Floodlighting)
• Barricade tape
• Maps of areas to be
• Team communication
  device (for each team
  vehicle) (two-way handheld
  radios with 3-mile
  transmitting radius)
• Home base communication
  device (for each vehicle)
  (two-way radios capable of
  transmitting the required
• Cell phone with extra
  batteries/remote chargers
• Human First Aid kit
• Emergency Euthanasia
  Options (gunshot/chemical/
• Animal Rescue Request
• Animal Impoundment
• Radio/Activities Log form
• Pens, pencils, permanent
  markers, paper
• Clipboards
• Plastic garbage bags (for



Personal Protection   Note: Each person should have with them the following items:
• Appropriate Nomex and
  wildfire survival gear (must
  be NFPA approved)
• High-visibility vest
• Gloves (bite/welding gloves
  and work gloves)
• Properly fitted boots
  (applicable to situation)
• Properly fitted PFD with
  rescue hookup
• Properly fitted helmet
  (climbing and/or hard hat)
• Properly fitted goggles
• Wetsuit or drysuit
• Appropriately graded
  NFPA or Cordage Institute
• Flashlight with extra
• Dust mask/respirator
• Rain gear
• Hat for sun protection
• Water/snacks
• Other items from the
  HSUS’s equipment list
  that may be applicable to
  the situation at hand

Team member requirements include the following:
• Swift Water Rescue Basic
• HSUS/ARC Animal First
  Aid Course
• Certified Knot and
  Mechanical Advantage
• Wildland Fire Training
  S130 and S190
• Emergency Euthanasia
• Training /Certification
• FEMA/EMI Independent
  Study Course: IS-195
  Basic Incident Command
• FEMA/EMI Independent
  Study Course: IS-10
  Animals in Disaster –
  Module A, Awareness and
• FEMA/EMI Independent
  Study Course: IS-11
  Animals in Disaster –
  Module B, Community
• Technical Animal Rescue
  Training (Code 3
  Associates or other
  approved training source)
• 5 years of professional
  animal care/control/capture
• Team leader should have
  additional training and/or
  experience in supervision/
  management level animal

Personal Maintenance Equipment  

• Personal Toiletries
• Seasonal Clothing
• Rx medications
• Sunscreen
• Other items from the
  HSUS’s suggested list



This six-member team should be capable of completing an average of one rescue every 30 minutes in a suburban setting and one rescue every hour in rural settings. These times would be semi-dependent on uncontrollable factors such as terrain, weather, road conditions, and distance between rescue sites. Number of teams ordered will be based on number of rescues anticipated. Team members should not show up for a disaster wearing camouflage gear. Camouflage gear not only complicates matters if the person needs to be found, but blends in with other response personnel, such as the National Guard. Suggested clothing: Carhart bib overalls. They are indestructible and will protect from bites, scratches, scrapes, and abrasions.

National Mutual Aid & Resource Management Initiative
Animal Health