Emergency Relief Networks

IFAW strives to improve standards for emergency relief and to establish best practices in order to improve the welfare and survival of rescued animals. IFAW also actively promotes disaster risk reduction planning. The Emergency Relief Network (ERN) model was developed to expand our capacity through relationships with key response partners. ERN members include groups, networks, agencies, organizations, and contractors that are trained and equipped to respond to animals impacted by disaster.

IFAW DR staff provides overhead management of ERNs on an individual basis while maintaining the continuum of promoting best practices and building local capacity.  IFAW DR engages local staff or contractors in each ERN to facilitate network development, maintenance, and evolution to empower local communities and key stakeholders. Current IFAW ERNs include:

United States

The gulf coast, northeastern coast, and middle America have suffered greatly over this last year from natural disasters. The robust IFAW US ERN is focused on the on-going training of ERN management and responders.

Animal Rescue League of Boston

Calcasieu Parish Animal Services

Louisiana State Animal Response Team

Mississippi Animal Response Team

North Valley Animals in Disaster Group

Humane Evacuation and Animal Rescue Team

Vermont Animal Rescue and Vermont Disaster Animal Rescue Team

National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition

State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team

Animal Lifeline

Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team

WildCare Foundation


The ERN in India draws great interest from both governmental and non-governmental organizations across the country. IFAW, with our partner Wildlife Trust of India, has been working in two areas recently heavily affected by natural disasters, including Cyclone Phailin. We have conducted a number of four-day training workshops, and have made progress reaching out to potential new members.

Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia ERN gained momentum with the unfortunate natural disasters of 2013, including an earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan. IFAW supported our ERN partner Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) through each one and worked on the ground in support of Typhoon Haiyan victims. During our response to Haiyan, IFAW was integral in the formation of a coalition bringing together government agencies, private industry, as well as numerous non-governmental organizations both domestic and international. This coalition presented our collaborative model to the national government in hopes of it becoming a permanent program of record.

We have conducted workshops that prepare members for disaster management, technical rescue for ERN responders, and the identification of equipment and supplies needs. IFAW has begun working inside Indonesia promoting our ERN model and collaborating with existing IFAW partners.