Animal Investigation & Response conducts orientation sessions for those interested in responding to animal emergencies

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Volunteers and those working in animal rescue received training Sunday on how they can help animals during natural or man-made emergencies.

The East Texas SPCA hosted the Animal Investigation & Response (AIR) team for a responder orientation. Current and new responders were there, so they could help with animal emergencies in Texas when needed.

“Animals are very important to people, so when people are affected by disasters, so are animals,” said Kim Meloncon, director of emergency services. “So it’s important to have resources for animals and to have trained responders who can help animals and then help people affected by a natural or man-made disaster.”

Meloncon said there are many different response levels people can choose from. Today’s event was more of an introduction.

“There are certain responsibilities in disaster response, whether it’s search and rescue, animal search and rescue or structural collapse rescue that require certifications in addition to what we do,” Meloncon said. “These people are highly trained and certified, and this class is more of an introduction for speakers to do that.”

Responders were told they were on the ground in emergencies and worked in shelters once the animals arrived.

“It’s super important because if you’re dating a group of people who have the best intentions in their hearts, but maybe they don’t know exactly what they’re doing. It can become a liability,” a Cortelyou said “Someone can get hurt, or an animal can get hurt, and there are so many different things that can happen. So we train everyone, so they can help AIR. “Or if we we need help, they can come and volunteer with us. To me, that’s worth a million dollars.

Most of the calls AIR responds involve dogs and cats, but Meloncon recently said during the Upshur County tornado response, “We’ve helped with cattle and horses that have escaped from their paddocks because that the fences were damaged during the tornadoes”.

For more information about AIR or their training, visit their website.

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