American Humane's Rescue Rig

Click here to view our online calander for a complete listing of training opportunities and educational events.

Education & Certifications

Every year, hurricanes, tornadoes, hazardous-materials incidents, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters threaten the animals who are so important to our lives. To prepare yourself to help animals in a disaster, a volunteer should start by getting more information about the classes or courses shown below (some are self-study): To get practical experience, we suggest that you also volunteer at your local animal shelter, if you are not already doing so, to gain experience in animal care and handling. Also, get training at your local American Red Cross chapter and join your local chapter's Disaster Action Team (DAT). This is excellent experience that you can get right in your own community.

The following DART Volunteer requirements must be met in order to be considered as a first responder within Pinellas County, Florida.

  • Complete DART or FLSARC training. Copy of certificate needed.
  • Complete FEMA ICS-100 (Incident Command System) course.  Copy of certificate needed.
    Complete FEMA ICS-200 (Single Resources and Initial Incidents) course.  Copy of certificate needed.
  • Complete FEMA NIMS 700 (National Incident Management System) course.  Copy of certificate needed.
  • Complete 30 hours of volunteer work (animal handling, feeding and cleaning) at any recognized Animal Shelter.  NOTE: Some exceptions may apply; contact Pam Burns at  or 727-517-1170 for more information.
  • Complete a DART volunteer application.
  • Submit a photograph of yourself.

For those students who wish to apply on a state level, go to

For those students who wish to apply on a national level, go to

The American Red Cross offers the classes below. Click here to locate and contact your local chapter.

  • First Aid/CPR
  • Introduction to Disaster Services
  • Introduction to Disaster Services Mass Care: An Overview
  • Shelter Operations
  • Shelter Simulation
  • Mass Care
  • Emergency Assistance to Families

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a free, online Independent Study Program.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Click here to locate a team in your area

The HSUS Disaster Training Program

For more classes, visit Humane Society University online at





Bay Area DART is a division of Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charitable organization