Group that takes care of pets after disasters seeks P.E.I. volunteers

An organization that helps take care of pets and animals during disasters such as floods, forest fires and evacuations is looking for volunteers as it sets up a branch in P.E.I.

Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team is setting up a P.E.I. chapter

These two dogs rode in the back of a pickup truck in Williams Lake, B.C., after wildfires in the area in the summer of 2017. (Simon Hergott)

An organization that helps take care of pets and animals during disasters such as floods, forest fires and evacuations is looking for volunteers as it sets up a branch in P.E.I.

Volunteers with the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) travel to disaster areas to rescue animals and open shelters where they can take care of them until people can return home. They've helped save everything from pet fish to dogs to goats to horses.

The organization's first Atlantic Canadian branch will be in P.E.I. and will be its first one outside of Western Canada.

The first in a series of information sessions about the group will be held on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in O'Leary, P.E.I.

"[It's] a session that will sort of let people find out exactly who we are and what we do and how they can become involved," said Ron McConnell, CDART's vice-president.

"I know there is an awful lot of people that have talked to us and said, 'What a great idea, How can I do this?' So this is their chance to come out and get a more of an in-depth view of what we do and how we do it.

"Our motto is big or small, we save them all."

McConnell said he's helped take care of animals during many disasters, including after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016.

Other information sessions will take place across the Island in the coming weeks.

With files from John Robertson