Animal Response Team getting flood water rescue training - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Animal Response Team getting flood water rescue training

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Iowa City's Animal Response Team and first responders will be getting more than $3,000 in equipment and training in slack water rescues thanks to a national grant from the ASPCA. 

The Iowa City Animal Service and Johnson County Emergency Management Agency, in a partnership, applied for the grant to help better prepare volunteers and first responders in emergency situations. 

Liz Ford the Iowa City Animal Services supervisor says often when natural disasters strikes, animals get left behind.  

"In the Iowa City area and really all over Eastern Iowa in 2008 there were a lot of rescues that needed to be done for animals that folks left behind, " Ford says.

The problem is families don't always have an emergency plan for their animals.

"It's so important to make sure that you are ready, when the tornado warnings go off you don't have to worry about, where's my animal, how do I get out," said Ford. 

The training will teach responders how to safely rescue animals from flood water.   

"We'll have equipment and we'll do a lot of hands on training for those in the response field and in animal welfare. so that when a situation arises that provides a need for those things we will understand  how to be prepared and use the equipment so that we can help animals," said Ford. 

However, Ford says she doesn't want this training to discourage people from having their own plan in place for their animals, "So that people aren't leaving those animals behind, so that people are making a plan but if it happens we'll be able to be there."

Iowa City Animal Services urges families to have an emergency kid prepared for each of their animals. These kits should have things like vaccination records and emergency supplies. They also stress that people should include their pets in an evacuation plan.  

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