Emergency Relief Network welcomes the North Valley Animal Disaster Group
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) relies on our Emergency Relief Network of animal welfare organizations and responders across the country to maintain our capacity to respond to animals impacted by disasters. Every month we will take time to introduce a valuable ERN member or individual and emphasize how proud we are to work with them.
IFAW is proud to introduce the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), one of our Emergency Relief Network Members. NVADG is based in Chico, California, but is active throughout California as a well respected animal welfare organization. NVADG’s mission is “working with emergency services to educate the public about disaster preparedness, and assist in sheltering and evacuation of animals during a disaster.”
In the winter of 2011, IFAW worked with NVADG President John Maretti, to create a strategy for our organizations to work together. The IFAW Communications Truck and Trailer needed a home on the west coast and NVADG volunteered to provide the rig with shelter, necessary work to deem it road-ready, and lots of TLC! IFAW provided a grant to NVADG for the maintenance of the rig and it is officially in operation full-time now. According to our Shared Use Agreement we will utilize the rig for disaster response work throughout California first and then outside the state if needed.
Since IFAW started working with NVADG earlier this year, we have been privy to their remarkable community outreach as they have been highlighted in 10 public events throughout northern California and Nevada, and utilized in 7 emergency preparedness drills or courses. When IFAW requested responder support for sheltering animals affected by disasters throughout the United States, NVADG has stepped up with candidates ready to deploy. They joined our IFAW teams in Missouri and two times in Minot, North Dakota.
"NVADG are some very dedicated, talented individuals who were eager to learn and share skills. It was wonderful working with their responders," said Gail A’Brunzo IFAW Emergency Relief Officer that responded with NVADG staff in both Missouri and North Dakota.
Their sheltering support and team leadership continues to improve our response capability. In order to bring them onto the IFAW water rescue teams IFAW sponsored a Slack Water Rescue Course in October hosted by NVADG. We granted them a jon boat, trailer, and motor for their capacity and the training course ensured that NVADG is ready to respond to a flood disaster. Over the past year of our working relationship NVADG has filled their Facebook page with pictures and stories of our work together.
Increased disaster response capacity is the foundation of the IFAW and NVADG formal relationship, but special friendships and mutual respect guarantee a long lasting commitment to our mission and to each other.