Established in early 2006, the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC) is an outgrowth of the unprecedented disaster season of 2005, during which major storms – most notably Hurricane Katrina – impacted more people and animals than any other storm in the history of the United States.
In the aftermath of that storm season, the major national animal protection organizations in the U.S. met to discuss ways in which our animal disaster response resources could be used most collaboratively and effectively in future events.
In the years since Hurricane Katrina, this collective of organizations has developed and grown into a strong Coalition whose mission is to identify, prioritize and find collaborative solutions to major human-animal emergency issues. This Coalition of national organizations represents millions of animal welfare, animal care, and animal control professionals, volunteers, and pet owners. NARSC is arguably the largest collective of experienced, qualified animal rescue and sheltering management professionals in the country. Member agencies have cooperatively responded nationally and internationally to natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding, ice storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and to man-made animal disasters including puppy mills and hoarders.
Coalition representatives meet regularly to address major human-animal disaster issues at the federal, state and local levels. Some of the achievements of NARSC include:
- Creation and acceptance of a Code of Conduct for all NARSC members
- Standardization of a core curriculum of training for disaster responders
- Credentialing system for animal responders
- Resource typing of animal rescue, transport and sheltering expertise
- Assisting state and local entities in disaster planning under the PETS Act
- Co-Chair of National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) Best Practice Working Groups establishing and documenting best practices in animal disaster response
We have established communication channels and working relationships with federal departments and agencies that have roles in emergency response and animal issues. We have also built a strong record of working effectively and cooperatively with other disaster NGOs as well as with local, state and federal entities.
In recognition of the fact that animal issues are human issues, we look forward to working with government and non-governmental organizations to ensure that all members of families – whether human or animal – are included in disaster preparedness and recovery plans.