The American Red Cross signed a new agreement with SMART, the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team, to help shelter animals and their human companions during disaster.
The Memorandum of Understanding cements the partnership between the two organizations, one sheltering humans in disaster, one sheltering pets. The agreement helps make sure human shelters are co-located with pet shelters, and put both agencies in the process – from planning, all the way to opening a shelter when disaster strikes.
The agreement gives options to families facing a crisis when a storm hits, like the Blizzard of 2013. When the power went out and many families were cold, many stayed at home, not knowing where they could board their pets in an emergency. So no family has to choose between evacuating and leaving a furry member of the family at home, these two agencies have created its partnership.
Signing for SMART was David Schwarz, president of the SMART board of directors. Signing for the Red Cross was Leighton Jones, disaster operations director for the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. Alyson McCartney, a Red Cross volunteer with four dogs of her own, helped make the agreement happen and was witness to the signing.