We are an all-volunteer organization whose members are trained as emergency responders for responding to disasters and emergencies involving animals. We are trained to work within the Incident Command System with local, state or federal agencies. Our members set up and operate emergency animal shelters for natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornados, puppy mill raids, and hoarding and dogfighting cases.
Mission: Big Bend DART has a three-fold mission:
- rescue and retrieve animals displaced or left behind during disasters;
- shelter and care for animals in crisis until they can be returned to their rightful owners;
- provide disaster preparedness education to animal owners and animal welfare agencies.
Disaster Preparedness with pets: we take our DART display to events of all kinds and talk to people about how to be prepared to evacuate with their pets. We are available to give presentations to organizations, neighborhood associations, schools, and work places.
Re-Tail thrift and consignment shop: We partner with Capital ARK to operate a re-sale shop that benefits both DART and Capital ARK, run largely on donated items.
Scholarship program: We offer a scholarship program to send animal welfare professionals and volunteers to the annual Animal Expo, the largest trade and educational conference in the fields of animal care, control, rescue and emergency services. The scholarship money comes largely from our portion of the sales from Re-Tail.
Pet Oxygen Masks: We have donated sets of Pet Oxygen Masks (1 set includes a small, medium and large mask) to all fire departments in our 8-county area of the Big Bend and numerous VFDs. Although the pet oxygen masks are reusable, we are committed to re-supplying any fire departments as needed.
Training: We offer our Animal Responder Awareness training yearly, as well as various other trainings (pet first aid, trailer hitching & pulling, animal handling, etc) that are open to anyone.
Big Bend DART is a 501c3 Nonprofit Tax-exempt organization, EIN # 03-0568170, Florida Tax-exempt Certificate 85-8013571155C-3.