Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gemini Dogs assists in HSUS response in Maine

(Update here)

On September 29, Gemini Dogs owner Michelle Borelli was deployed through the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) National Disaster Animal Response Team (NDART) to Buxton, Maine, where she assisted in the continuing on-site care of over 275 dogs who were seized by the state of Maine in a recent raid of an unlicensed kennel.

According to The Portland Press Herald, the dogs had been living in deplorable conditions typical of animal breeding facilities known as “puppy mills.” The Herald also reported that many of the dogs were malnourished, injured and afflicted with infectious diseases.

According to American Humane, who is assisting in the mission, "Puppy mills supply the commercial pet market through mass breeding practices that put profits first and animals’ well-being last. In these operations, animals typically suffer abuse and physical stress, exposure to extremes of heat and cold, and a lack of sufficient food and water. They often live in filthy, diseased conditions and may spend their entire lives in small runs or cages."

Michelle is a member of NDART, SMART, and CMDART, and she is the founding member of the newly-formed Gemini Dogs Disaster Animal Response Team. Due to the nature of her deployment, Michelle is unable to comment on her work in Maine. However, she did urge that by supporting our Gemini Dogs DART, you can help her to reach out to these and other animals.

Michelle is actively seeking members for the Gemini Dogs team, and will be hosting an educational discussion on how you can get involved during our annual Howl-O-Ween Festival, which is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend of November.

What is a DART team?

  • Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) members are trained to respond in any setting, at any time.
  • They may be called upon to help at a local house fire, an impending storm, or any situation where animals need to brought out of harm's way.
  • Team members must go through a variety of training workshops, practice drills, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) courses to become eligible for deployment.

What Do DARTs Do?

  • Prepare communities and individuals for disasters
  • Collect donations of supplies and other needed items for use in current and future disasters
  • Establish emergency shelters for animals during a disaster
  • Assess and care for animals during a disaster
  • Provide food, water, and any medical needs to the animals in that emergency shelter
Email Michelle for more information on how to get involved in animal disaster response.

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