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Latest News:

Carbon CART subject of newspaper article
Carbon CART was recently the focus of an extensive article in the December 17th edition of Town and Country Gazette. Please click on the link below to read the entire write-up.

September 30, 2014: PASART Releases its Mega Shelter Manual.

From Executive Director Joel Hersh; "In June, PASART held a Sheltering Symposium for the purpose of initiating the development of a large scale companion animal sheltering plan. Over 50 invited experts attended a two day Symposium held at West Chester University. These experts provided invaluable assistance, through the work group process, in developing ideas , strategies and operating procedures for use in opening and managing a large scale companion animal shelter.

After the Symposium, we began the task of sorting through all the information gleaned from the Symposium; reviewing information previously developed by other organizations; reviewing existing PASART policies and SOP's; making decisions based on Pennsylvania needs, and then developing a manual for Pennsylvania.

I am pleased to announce today that we have now completed the task and produced the PASART Large Scale Animal Sheltering Manual. This is now the prevailing document to be used in Pennsylvania for the opening and operation of a large scale companion animal shelter. The manual is comprehensive. We attempted to include "everything you'll need to know and consider" when faced with a disaster requiring the opening of such a shelter.

The manual is available for download on our Preparedness Information Page or by clicking the following link: PASART Mega Shelter Manual_09-28-2014.pdf

Our thanks go out to all who assisted in this effort." 

September 12, 2014:

September is National Preparedness Month-Have you checked out all of the resources available to you for both Pet and Family Preparedness? Please visit other sections of our website for information on how you and your entire family can be better prepared.

You will also find information on the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at or at  Also be sure to check our information on the website of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at: Members of the agricultural community should visit the Penn State Extension link for information on Preparedness Planning.


Remember: Disasters occur when you least expect it. Please take the time to prepare you and your family, including pets,to be able to respond quickly and effectively should you need to evacuate your home.


The Humane Foundation of Pennsylvania has recognized the contributions of PASART by awarding a $5,000 grant for use in furthering the mission of meeting the needs of domestic animals during disasters, both large and small. Pictured left to right in the photo below are Karel Minor, Executive Director of the Foundation, Joel Hersh, Executive Director of PASART, and Carolyn Chenworth, Foundation Board President.

News You Can Use- PASART Warns Animal Owners about Excessive Heat

PASART is concerned that you may not be thinking about the effects of excessive heat on your animals. Please click on the following link for information that "YOU NEED TO KNOW".

Heat Precautions for Your Pet 2014.pdf

The Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs (PFDC) recently presented a donation of $500.00 to PASART in recognition of its efforts on behalf of animals in need. Pictured below is Darin Cox, of PFDC, presenting the donation to Joel Hersh, PASART Executive Director and his assistant Sedona. The trailer shown in the photo is one of three recently purchased shelter trailers used by PASART for emergency sheltering.


PASART Board Chair, Sarah Speed, and others recently completed Large Animal Rescue Training at Penn State University. Sarah, a trained responder, and full time Humane Society Director for Pennsylvania was profiled in a Humane Society newsletter. Please click on the link below for the article and photos.

PASART Awarded Grant from Noah's Wish

For Immediate Release                        Wednesday April 2, 2014

Media Contact:


Joel H. Hersh| Executive Director Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team|2605 Interstate Drive| Harrisburg, PA 17110 | PH: 717-651-2736| Cell: 717-919-7495 |

The Pennsylvnia State Animal Response Team (PASART) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Community Animal Preparedness and Safety Grant (CAPS) from Noah's Wish. Noah's Wish is a national level non-profit whose mission is to mitigate the impact of disasters on animals through outreach and education programs. Noah's Wish also reponds to communities in need after disasters occur by deploying volunteers and equipment to assist in dealing with the needs of animals after such events.

PASART will utilize the grant to increase it's outreach in Pennsylvania along with developing an over arching plan for large scale animal sheltering in the Commonwealth. You can learn more about Noah's Wish at:  

Latest News- Extreme Weather Conditions Advisory January 2-7, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        Thursday, January 2, 2014

Media Contact:

Joel H. Hersh| Executive Director Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team|2605 Interstate Drive| Harrisburg, PA 17110 | PH: 717-651-2736| Cell: 717-919-7495 |

While it’s easy to think that dogs are immune to cold because of their fur, the fact is that more dogs perish in the winter than at any other time of the year. Some are better equipped to handle the cold weather than others. Frostbite, hypothermia and antifreeze poisoning present the biggest winter threats to pets. By taking a few precautions and using common sense, pet owners can keep their dogs safe this winter.


Beware of cold temperatures.While many pets can be safe in outside temperatures with proper shelter (see below), puppies, smaller dogs, older dogs and cats should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.

While many pets can be safe in outside temperatures with proper shelter (see below), puppies, smaller dogs, older dogs and cats should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.


Keep older, arthritic pets inside. These animals should not be left outside under any circumstances. Escort the older dog outside for toileting and use a leash if the yard has ice or snow. Older dogs can easily fall and seriously injure themselves.


Watch for signs of frostbite and injury. Dogs’ ears, paws and tails are especially susceptible to frostbite. If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian. If your dog plays on ice or hard, frozen dirt, his paws are susceptible to cuts as his paws slide across these rough surfaces. Always wipe your dog’s feet after a walk in the snow to remove ice balls and salt deposits from the road. Salt irritates a dog’s paws and can be toxic if ingested. Use only pet-safe ice melt.


Keep an eye out for hypothermia. If you notice shivering, lethargy, low heart rate and unresponsiveness, bring your pet into a warm area, place a light blanket over him, and call your veterinarian.


Eliminate the possibility of poisoning. Unfortunately, dogs like the sweet taste of antifreeze, which can cause sickness or even death if ingested. Make certain that all antifreeze containers are well out of reach of dogs and thoroughly clean any spills immediately.

Provide a protective shelter. If your dog or cat stays outside much of the time in the winter, his shelter needs to be raised a couple of inches off the frozen ground or concrete. The inside needs to have a blanket, cedar shavings or straw, which should be changed frequently to keep him warm and dry. Add a flap to the door, and face the shelter away from the weather. The size of the shelter should be large enough so your pet can sit and stand, but small enough so his body heat will be retained in the house. Use a plastic water bowl to ensure your pet’s tongue does not get stuck to cold metal, and change the water often to keep it from freezing.


Keep your dog on a leash. Dogs rely heavily on a strong sense of smell to figure out where they are and can easily get lost during winter storms. Snow covering the ground will make their surroundings less familiar. Keeping your dog on a leash at all times – especially during winter storms – can help stop your dog from becoming lost. Also talk to your veterinarian about micro-chipping your dog, just in case.


Don’t leave your dog inside of a parked car. Most people know this rule for the summer. A parked car can quickly amplify the effects of extreme weather. During the winter it can act as an icebox and trap cold air inside.


With the frigid temperatures quickly approaching, PASART encourages all residents of the Commonwealth to take precautions when using space heaters. According to the US Fire Administration, in 2011, space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third of home heating fires and four out of five of home heating fire deaths.


The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to properly clean heating equipment, primarily chimneys before use. Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, were among the leading factors contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half of home heating fire deaths.


In the event of a fire, your pets need protection as much as the rest of the family. Here is a list of some things you can do in your home…

  • Be sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home.
  • Have an emergency exit plan that includes your pets, and practice the plan regularly.
  • Make sure pets always wear identification
  • Research a safe place to take your pets.
  • Assemble a disaster kit.
  • Give a key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Ask your local fire department if they carry pet oxygen masks on their fire trucks.
  • Listen to your dog.


About CARTs: County Animal Response Teams were formed as an initiative the PA State Animal Response Team (PASART) a private non-profit organization which receives the majority of its funding from the federal government through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). CARTs consists of volunteers from all walks of life - from experienced emergency responders, veterinary technicians, animal trainers and handlers to other men and women concerned with the welfare of animals. CARTs are based on the principals of the Incident Command System developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and involves a coordinated effort of government, corporate and animal organizations. For more information regarding Pennsylvania CARTS visit


The Pennsylvania State Senate has declared September 23-29, 2013 as Animal Disaster Preparedness Week. The resolution highlights the importance of preparedness and acknowledges the role of PASART in those efforts in the Commonwealth. Please click the following link to view the resolution.

2013 PA State Senate Resolution -Animal Disaster Preparedness Week

September is National Preparedness Month-Have you checked out all of the resources available to you for both Pet and Family Preparedness? Please visit other sections of our website for information on how you and your entire family can be better prepared.


Also,please visit  and  for more information

August  24 ,2013

Carbon, Schuylkill and Lehigh Valley CARTs joined forces this weekend during a hands-on simulation drill. See the link below for an article describing the event.

January 2013

2013 Farm Show

PASART is participating in the 2013 state Farm Show for the eighth consecutive year. The Show is one the largest annual agricultural expositions in the country and is in its 97th year. Volunteers from CARTs around the state are assisting with staffing our booth. Below is a picture of two of the volunteers at our booth, along with Copper, a certified therapy canine, and the companion of Dr. Nan Hanshaw, PASART Volunteer and former Chair of our Board of Directors.

Hurricane Sandy Animal Shelters

The Board of Directors of PASART extends its thanks and gratitude to all of the County Animal Response Team volunteers who assisted in operating temporary animal shelters as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The CARTs operated 25 shelters in 18 counties across the Commonwealth sheltering companion animals in need. Thanks again for your continuing efforts for animals in need of our assistance.

Latest News-July 2012

PASART Receives Award form PA Veterinary Medical Association

PASART has been notified by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) that is has been selected as one of PVMA's 2012 President Award recipients. Specifically, the award letter states "PASART was selected for this prestigious award for the crucial role it plays in disaster preparedness and response across the state for the Commonwealth's animals". The award will be presented to PASART at PVMA's Hall of Fame Dinner on August 17, 2012. Joel Hersh, PASART Executive Director, will accept the award on behalf of PASART and all the volunteers and Board members who have been integral to it's success.

On July 19th, PASART was contacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and was requested to provide assistance to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement in Columbia County. Specifically, we were asked to assist with transportation and sheltering of approximately 200 dogs that were seized from a private residence in Columbia County. PASART mobilized its Columbia Montour CART which provided on scene assistance, including crates and a stock trailer to transport the dogs to Harrisburg and the Farm Show Complex. In Harrisburg, CART members from Dauphin and Perry Counties provided equipment and crates to receive the dogs. Volunteers from Perry CART staffed the temporary shelter overnight and through the afternoon of July 20th, until all of the dogs had been placed in animal shelters in a number of counties. Included below is a copy of an email received from Mike Pechart, Executive Deputy Secretary of the department of Agriculture.

"Joel and all CART/SART members:  On behalf of Secretary Greig thank you all very much for all that you do to help PDA and animals during emergency situations.  It was just shortly after we executed the search warrant that I called Joel, and it what seemed like just minutes the Dauphin and Perry SART was already over at the farm show setting up.  I was thoroughly impressed.  You were great people and great to work with.  This was my first time EVER dealing with an animal emergency of this caliber.  I learned a lot but the most important thing I learned was that I can depend on SART/CART to help me and PDA without worries.  You are experts and your passion for animals and interest in helping is just awesome.  Thank you all very much, and especially to those that remained all night and all day with no sleep." 

Mike Pechart,PA Department of Agriculture


Latest News-June 2012

Lehigh Valley CART started a project to equip all fire companies in Lehigh and Northampton Countied with Pet Oxygen Masks. A recent fundraising event was held, with major sponsorship from the Nestle Company,to raise additional funds for this project. Please clink on the link below to read more about this event.


Butler CART has recieved word from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the “ASPCA”) that it has been awarded a grant. The award letter reads, in part:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the “ASPCA”) is honored to award the Butler CART, part of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team,a grant for the purpose of Disaster Preparedness through Public Outreach and Education.

Click here to link to the ASPCA website:

Please click any of the links below for more information on that topic:

Cindy, Jim, Dolce and Zucca

Stayin' Alive Video
CPR can save lives - but you need to be prepared to respond! Dolce and Zucca (with a little help from some friends) provide some critical information to help you know how to keep your friends (human or pet) alive!
Watch the Video

Zucca Earns Title Video
Dolce recently celebrated his 9th birthday and has been thinking about a career change, he is thinking about becoming a dog trainer. His first student, Zucca has already earned recognition with her tricks!
Watch the Video

Dolce is looking for the next trick challenge! ideas and suggestions welcome and inspiration will be given due credit!

Resolutions for the New Year
It is important to make some resolutions for the new year. Dolce finally got around to making a few - and being timely is one he still needs to work on!
Watch the Video

Cats and Dogs Patch  

© Copyright 2012, Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. All rights are reserved.

2605 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110
PH: 717-651-2736 / FX: 717-651-2125