Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team
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Valleyfest 2013!
HEART was a first-time participant at Responsible Pet Owner Day at Valleyfest, 2013! The weather held out and we met many wonderful folks and pups. Amy, Kathleen, Rosemary, and Nancy had a great time sharing information on HEART and emergency preparedness for pet owners. Thanks to Jacqui for inviting us to this great event!

Schrag Rest Stop Fundraiser
This was no ordinary Rest Stop Fundraiser - not when the big storm blew into the area on Sunday evening! HEART members Judy, Nan, and Sue were on shift when the skies grew dark, the winds howled, dust flew, and the lights went out. They took shelter in the rest room and even helped some dog owners who were traveling through at the time. What dedication!

Saturday started with a complication when the lock wouldn't work. Pat, Lou, and Chris didn't get the early start they'd planned. They also had to do a lot of cleaning before they could set up and serve. Turns out it had been at least a month since anyone worked at the Schrag Rest Stop!

In spite of all the challenges, obstacles,and limited hours, generous donations from grateful motorists totaled $698.33!

Once again, thanks to ALL HEART members for their donations to make this fundraiser a success! We had such a wonderful variety and volume of treats. The travelers who stopped were very pleasantly surprised at our amazing spread.

As always, special thanks to Sally, who takes the lead to organize these fundraisers for HEART.

West Plains Horse Rescue
HEART members assisted SCRAPS July 20 when the ACO executed a search warrant and subsequently seized over 20 emaciated horses. HEART assisted SCRAPS and the Vet with the evaluation and intake of the horses. HEART and SCRAPS loaded and transported the horses from the West Plains to the Spokane County Fairgrounds. HEART members are providing daily care for the horses, including cleaning the stalls and feeding, watering, and exercising the horses.

American Humane Association
Red Star Animal Emergency Services
Deployed to Moore, OK

American Humane Association's Red Star Animal Emergency Services Team was invited by the state of Oklahoma to assist with the care and rescue of animals affected by the devastating May 20 tornado.

HEART members Donna and Nancy deployed with AHA Red Star Animal Emergency Services Team. They worked at the temporary shelter at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Moore, OK.

Sprague Rest Stop Fund Raiser

HEART members came through for the I-90 Sprague Rest Stop Fundraiser!

Thanks to eveyone who contributed their time and effort to help make the fundraiser a success! The volunteers who manned the rest stop did a great job, but they couldn't have done it without everyone's generous donations of items to serve!.

Together, we raised over $900.00!

Special thanks to Sally for organizing this event. She also got up at 0600 to buy and bring new coffee makers to the rest stop when we experienced an equipment malfunction.

Responding to Sandy

HEART team member, Nan Livingston, deployed with American Humane Association's Red Star Team to respond to the victims of Sandy.

American Humane Association has completed their response for the present, but the work continues. The ASPCA remains hard at work to help the communities affected by Sandy.

On a local level, HEART in conjunction with SCRAPS, would respond to the emergency rescue and shelter of small and large animals in Spokane County. Typically, our natural disasters would be wild fires, snow storms, ice storms, and floods.

In the event of a disaster, are you ready to evacuate your pets?

Check out the American Humane Association's web page for critical information to prepare yourself and your pets for emergencies, including a hurricane.

Bark for Life

HEART members Rosemary, Brenda, and Nancy enjoyed the festivities of "Bark for Life".

Many familiar faces, people and pups, were at the event. New friends were made, too!

DSCN0193_-_CopyHEART shared information on the importance of disaster preparedness with Bark for Life visitors.


HEART Fundraiser

Grateful motorists donated over $750.00 to HEART May 19 - 20 at the eastbound Schrag Rest Area on I-90!

HEART members Sue, Nan, Donna, Rosemary, Dee, Judy, Kathleen, Pat, Sally, Amy, and Nancy served hundreds of people. Many of the folks who stopped were from the Spokane area and were interested to hear about HEART. They thanked us for the services HEART provides the citizens and animals of Spokane County.

Thanks to all HEART members, we had plenty of homemade treats! Thanks, too, to the generous coffee and equipment donation from BOYD'S COFFEE and Mike Bilbrey!

The DOT worker in charge of operations praised HEART for the professional set-up, excellent service, and safe food handling techniques. Well-seasoned travelers complimented HEART on the awesome variety of treats.

Thanks to the fundraising committee and all HEART members who helped in the front lines and behind-the-scenes to make this a success. Special thanks to Sally for her hard work to organize this event.

June 1, 2009

Animals in Disaster Workshop
June 27th and 28th
Spokane, WA
Day One Was
Classroom Lecture
Disasters 101
Lessons Learned from Past Disasters
Assessment Process
Training and Equipment Needs
Day Two Was
Table Top Exercise
Mock Sheltering Drill
Instructor was
Dr. Dick Green
Dick is currently the Emergency Relief Manager for Disasters at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).  He has responded to scores of international and national disasters and his teams have rescued thousands of animals from floods, tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes.  In 2005, Dick directed operations for the American Humane Association in their rescue efforts at hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.  And earlier in 2005, Dick worked alongside the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) following the tsunami in SE Asia.  In 2008, Dick directed IFAW operations for six of the top ten disasters worldwide including the China earthquake, Midwest flooding, and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.  Dick has trained hundreds of responders in disaster prevention and response and has developed a training curriculum and text for Water Rescue for Companion Animals.
Dick was instrumental in developing the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC) in the United States.  This Coalition is comprised of every major NGO active in disasters.  The Coalition has been working on issues such as resource typing, credentialing, and working collaboratively and cooperatively during disasters.



 May 2009

HEART responds to puppy mill in Kennewick, WA

Overy 400 miniture American Eskimos were rescued from less than desirable conditions.  Dogs had been kept in small kennels, little wooden crates, and even shopping carts.  Lists of problems included malnutrition, urine burns, severe matting, and socialization issues.  Here are some photos of our team members hard at work along side other volunteers, including the Humane Society of the United States.



Petsmart Charity Wagon that was brought to help handle this disaster!!


Brenda and Lou hard at work, covered in dirt, but still smilin'

Kennewick_Puppy_Mill_2009_007  pic1

Puppies all cleaned up- in a nice urine free kennel                    Some needed additional vet care

Kennewick_Puppy_Mill_2009_010   Donna and Tami hard at work

More cleaning supplies please : ) Kennewick_Puppy_Mill_2009_011

Kennewick_Puppy_Mill_2009_012             Kennewick_Puppy_Mill_2009

Tami cleaning poop off feet and giving luvs.                               Still smilin' even after hours of cleaning 


Rows of kennels


Taking a minute to give some luvs- while clean cages are important, so is human contact : )

These pictures were taken by HSUS and have been posted with their permission
Canine removal begins

Brenda showing why these long, hard, unpaid volunteer hours are worth it.

Gustav- August 2008


Emily Pennington carries her dog "Rocket" wading down Parkway as heavy rains and water from the Dog River flooded the neighborhood as Hurricane Gustav's hit along the Gulf Coast Monday, September 1, 2008. 

       hurricane-gustav              pa-aes-hurricane-gustav1
Images courtesy to AHA- shelter set-up in Baton Rouge

7A2D91BFCF9F47479134B43039BBAF         BayStLouisMississippi
New Orleans and St. Louis, Mississippi

Gustav Update from Dick Green.

Final evacs occurred late August 31st.  The Parrish/State assisted evacuations for critical need populations went well.   Approximately 12-1500 animals are in the three designated shelters. 

Landfall is expected to occur around 1300 so the earliest we will get any assessments in will be Tuesday morning. The impact into the interior part of the state is expected to be greater than anticipated and we are hunkered down at the LDAF EOC for the day.

As soon as we have a better idea of impact and need, we will begin the requests process. I will be out of the EOC once the water rescue begins so I may not get back to you immediately.


August 2008
We had two teams assisting American Humane in this situation.

More than 140 pets seized from Lincoln Co. home

August 26, 2008

By ALEX REED / NewsChannel 36

Pets removed from unsanitary conditions

UPDATE: Final count shows 375 animals removed from home

DENVER, N.C. -- It's being called one of the largest animal seizures in Lincoln County history. More than 140 pets were found living in unsanitary conditions in and around a family’s home in the town of Denver.  As deputies carried the animals to safety in an 80,000 square foot temporary shelter, they told us they’re still trying to determine if this home was a puppy mill, or a rescue shelter gone horribly wrong.  The sound from dozens of dogs next door is deafening.  "A lot of them are huskies and it’s just howling and barking all the time. Sometimes it would be so loud that it sounds like the inside of the coliseum, just a roar,"said a neighbor who asked not to be identified.  But it’s not just dogs; the couple has cats, exotic birds, ducks, chickens, goats, horses, even a llama.  Neighbors say the sight of how the animals live is sickening. Some were in outdoor pens with no shelter, standing in their own filth.  "And the smell is just so... my wife wouldn’t even come out of the house," said the neighbor.  State and county officials have been investigating complaints about this home along Petite Lane in Denver for some time.  "Some of the animals look sick, some of them are malnourished, some of them have skin problems," said Lincoln County Animal Services Director Jack Kerley.   So Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies moved in to seize more than 140 animals to give them the care they need, and it was a big relief for neighbors.  "It’s just a nasty mess and this is a good day as far as I’m concerned, this is a good day," said the neighbor.

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About 170 Animals Seized From Lincoln County Home

POSTED: 5:56 pm EDT August 26, 2008
Vickie Rogers cried tears of joy as she watched an Animal Control team take about 170 animals from her neighbor's home in Denver. "We can't believe this is happening," she said.  Rogers and other neighbors said for about 18 years they have lived next door to an out of control collection of animals on Petite Lane. They said the sound was awful and the smell unbearable.  "It's like being around a sewer plant," said neighbor Lee Beacham.

Complaints from them and other neighbors drew attention to the former rescue. The Lincoln County Animal Control director said a recent visit by state agriculture officials led them to launch Operation Noah's Ark. It is a name that comes from the fact that owner Vicki Rauch said she had about 150 dogs, cats, goats, birds of all kinds, mice, gerbils, horses and a llama.  Director Jack Kerly said the animals were pinned or tied down outside with no cover and their drinking water was green with algae or brown.  "It's a sad thing that an animal in this condition has to live in this environment," Kerly said.   Dozens of officials and firefighters began taking the animals Tuesday morning. Between 40 and 50 of them lived in the house with Rauch, her husband and children. Rauch said some of the animals were diseased and injured before she took them in.   Rauch told Eyewitness News the surprise raid stressed her 19-year-old son so much that he had to be taken to the hospital.   "I'm being punished for taking in dogs that need help," she said.   Rauch said since 1993, her neighbors and Animal Control have harassed her for helping animals that would otherwise be put to sleep.  Animal Control workers set up a mobile animal hospital Tuesday near the home the animals where seized. It's similar to the kind of hospitals that were set up to help stranded and wounded animals on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Animal Control officials said the mobile hospital was needed because there were more animals at the Denver home than they have at the county's shelter, so there simply wasn't enough room to hold the animals.  Kerly couldn’t say if the animals may be adopted to new homes. He said there is a chance that some of them may be returned to Rauch if a judge allows it.  Rauch has not been charged. She is still under investigation for animal cruelty.

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Lots of Animals=Lots of Trouble

Denver, NC  -- 

The rain poured down in Denver on Tuesday as dozens of rescuers worked to move more than 150 animals from dirty, dangerous conditions.

Through the wooden slats of a broken fence, you could see a couple dogs waiting patiently for help. Neighbors, like Vicki Rogers, say they have also been waiting patiently for eight years for someone to do something about the animals.

"These dogs and these animals have gone without food, they bark all the time, and they're skinny, they're tied to trees, chained to trees, and there's just too many of them for anybody to be able to take care of on their own," says Rogers.

Moving the dozens of animals took nearly 12 hours. They all ended up at a church-owned warehouse that's been set up as a temporary shelter.

Jack Kerley is the director of Animal Services for Lincoln County.  He tells FOX News the woman who owned the animals, Vicki Raush, has previous charges stemming from noise and odor complaints.

Kerley listed a veritable menagerie of animals taken from the home today, including: 143 dogs, 30 cats, 1 llama, 6 horses, ponies, ducks, pigs, goats, parrots, rats; the list goes on and on.

Kerley says Raush was trying to make money off the animals. "She says she wants be a breeder, and breed and sell animals and she was attempting to do some rescue, rescue and adopt animals," Kerley says.

Meanwhile, Rogers says she is glad the animals are safe and she's got plans to enjoy the peace and quiet. "Just gonna smile for a while and hope we don't listen to dogs bark," says Rogers.

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Updated 08/27/2008 07:33 AM
Hundreds of animals taken from home
By: Bryn Hough

A veterinarian will take a closer look at the animals on Wednesday.
LINCOLN COUNTY -- Hundreds of animals were pulled from an animal rescue after authorities received complaints of mistreatment. The animals included dogs, cats and even livestock in an event authorities are calling Operation Noah’s Ark.

"It's a sad shame that an animal is in this condition and has to live in this kind of environment,” said Jack Kerley, director of animal services in Lincoln County.

Dozens of law enforcement officers and volunteers arrived at Vicki Rauch’s property on Petite Lane in Lincoln County on Tuesday for the rescue after police say neighbors complained.

"Some of the neighbors had been complaining about the smell and the noise factor,” said neighbor Bryan Somers.

“We have had numerous complaints over a period of time,” added Kerley.

After the incident, Rauch spoke by phone with News 14 Carolina to give her side of the story.

Animal Rescue
News 14 Carolina’s Bryn Hough takes a look at what authorities had to take from one Lincoln County woman.
“I do animal rescue, and I've been doing this for over 20 years so I take young dogs -- it don't matter if they are completely hairless, skin and bones, stuff that people can't afford to take to vets -- and I treat them and then I find homes for them,” she explained.

While Rauch says she tried to help the animals, law enforcement describes a different scene.

“Some animals look malnourished, some of them look sick, some of them have skin problems,” said Kerley.

Police believe Rauch had started a dog breeding facility, then began rescuing animals. Officials found animals living outside in pens – and more than 50 living inside the house.

The animals are now living in a 80,000 square foot facility where they will be looked at by a veterinarian who will determine what’s next for the animals.

Police say Rauch was previously convicted for not having up-to-date rabies shots for her animals. They add there is not enough room in the Lincoln County animal shelter to house all of the animals.

A veterinarian will take a closer look at them on Wednesday.

American Humane Deploys to North Carolina

Nearly 400 animals seized in ‘Operation Noah’s Ark’

Our Red Star Animal Emergency Services deployed to Denver, N.C., on Aug. 26 to work alongside other organizations in caring for and sheltering approximately 390 animals seized from a private residence. We are part of a team composed of local law enforcement, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency, the North Carolina State Animal Response Team (SART) and others.

The seizure has been dubbed “Operation Noah’s Ark” by local media due to the number and variety of animals involved. The animals include dogs, cats, horses, a llama, birds and guinea pigs.

Many of the animals appeared malnourished and in need of medical care when our rescue team arrived. After being examined and safely sheltered, they will receive any necessary medical attention.

UPDATED 8/29/08:  American Humane continues to provide care for the animals, which have now all been identified and counted. The diverse assortment of animals includes 156 dogs, 53 cats, 5 horses, 37 parakeets, 6 goats, 3 sugar gliders, dozens of small mammals and a llama.

As this operation is a legal case, additional details are pending. Check back soon for updates!

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This article ran in the Spokane County Employee Newsletter called "County Connections"

Spokane Valley Fire Brings out the HEART of our Community                 



Contributed by Nancy Hill,Director-Spokane County

Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)

The air was thick with smoke and the flames could be seen from the highway when I received a call asking for an emergency animal shelter to be set up to handle the pets of the residents who had to evacuate during the fire.  I immediately activated the HEART team (Humane Evacuation Animal Response Team) to assist SCRAPS with  setting up and running the shelter.  The scene at the fairgrounds was one of frenzied but organized activity. Volunteers were putting together animal crates, setting up space for livestock, checking for supplies of food and pet care items and getting prepared to take care of Spokane’s pets.Many community members stopped by to see if they could help. Some brought food for the animals (thanks Albertsons of Millwood) and others brought food and drinks for the volunteers. “After the fire was over, I began to look at the list of people who called to offer their homes and pastures for the animals, and those who called to offer their time or their trailers for transport and was amazed that there was easily over 50 offers of help, what a great statement about the community in which we live,” said Jackie Bell, Development

Coordinator for SCRAPS.  HEART volunteers were at the shelter all night caring for the animals and watching the hillside as the flames began to diminish. The next day SCRAPS was able to see all the animals off safely and close the temporary shelter

Community News 8/01/08
Local group has H.E.A.R.T. for animals when emergencies hit
By Craig Howard
News Editor



While most of the news surrounding the Valley View last month fire dealt with the evacuation of residents and the impact on surrounding homes, one local group made sure that the animals affected by the blaze weren’t forgotten.

The concept behind Spokane’s Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team actually got its start after the firestorm of 1991 when many of the horse owners in the Ponderosa area expressed concern that evacuation plans for animals had fallen short. As with many of the organizational efforts put into place after the fire, a collaborative system was put into place, drawing on local and statewide resources.

The only problem was that the program lacked volunteers, recalls Nancy Hill, executive director of Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services.

“We were missing the workforce,” Hill said.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area in 2005, driving residents and animals from their homes, the idea for a Spokane-based animal rescue group was revived. Hill remembers around 100 people showing up for the first meeting.

“We knew we needed a vehicle for us to communicate how to handle a disaster,” Hill said.

The organization’s first year was spent training with groups like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Humane Society while receiving support from the SpokAnimal, the Spokane Humane Society, SCRAPS and local veterinarians. By the time H.E.A.R.T. had established a board of directors, the volunteer corps was down to 40, which is approximately where it stands today. The agency will celebrate its official two-year anniversary this December.

“They are a fantastic group of dedicated people,” Hill said. “They truly are a credit to this community.”

Janis Christensen, director of H.E.A.R.T., was among a handful of Spokane area volunteers who flew back to Louisiana to help in the aftermath of the hurricane as part of a nationwide relief effort. She said the experience reinforced the necessity of establishing a local program to support animals in times of crisis.

“It really brought the issue to the forefront,” said Christensen. “It was clear that something needed to be in place for animals.”

Christensen arrived in New Orleans two weeks after the hurricane and spent 10 days rescuing dogs and cats stranded by the flood.
“The efforts by people down there were just heroic,” she said.

When news of the Valley View fire began to circulate in the early evening hours of July 10, Hill received a call from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that help would be needed in securing a shelter for animals evacuated from the Dishman-Mica area.

“My very first call after that was to H.E.A.R.T.,” Hill said.

By 8:30 p.m., Christensen and a group of volunteers had organized a makeshift shelter at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. Dogs, cats, goats and horses were soon filtering into the site.

“It helped out a ton because we didn’t have to send resources over there,” said Bill Clifford, a spokesman with the Spokane Valley Fire Department. “They really made a major difference.”

Microchips and tags helped owners find animals in the aftermath of the fire. By Friday afternoon, the shelter had been dismantled.

Janet Schaeffer, a H.E.A.R.T. volunteer who serves on the board of directors, said the response during the emergency was an indication of how training and preparedness pay dividends.

“We were ready,” Schaeffer said. “I think everyone was really proud of how it went.”

Last July, Schaeffer journeyed down to Oklahoma to help with the rescue mission during a series of series floods. As with the efforts following Hurricane Katrina, Schaeffer said volunteers pulled together to provide hope during a perilous time.

“The best thing is knowing that when there are animals in crisis there are people around who care about their life and safety,” she said. “It’s like the Red Cross of the animal world.”

Site under construction!
H.E.A.R.T.'s Shelter in Response to the Dishman-Mica fire of 2008
The Spokane Fair Grounds where we set up our emergency animal shelter.
The beautiful barn where we were allowed to set up our large animal shelter. 
Here we housed three horses and three goats who were reunited with their owners after the fires.
The first few moments of the shelter set up and we already have our intake area set up : )
donations   hay
In no time the community had donated supplies for all of our four legged rescues who were spending the night with us.
The area sectioned off for our incoming kitties. 
clean1  dogarea2
Welcome to Canine Lane, kennels set up and ready for any dog that needed a place to stay for the night.
Each kennel came equiped with a maid ; )
Here Lou and Tracy, H.E.A.R.T. members, are hard at work cleaning stables for our much larger guests!
This article ran in the Spokane County Employee Newsletter called "County Connections"  

Spokane Valley Fire Brings out the HEART of our Community                                                                               

Contributed by Nancy Hill,Director-Spokane County

Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)

The air was thick with smoke and the flames could be

seen from the highway when I received a call asking for

an emergency animal shelter to be set up to handle the

pets of the residents who had to evacuate during the fire.

I immediately activated the HEART team (Humane

Evacuation Animal Response Team) to assist SCRAPS with

setting up and running the shelter.

The scene at the fairgrounds was one of frenzied but organized activity. Volunteers were putting together

animal crates, setting up space for livestock, checking for supplies of food and pet care items and getting prepared

to take care of Spokane’s pets.Many community members stopped by to see if they could help. Some brought

food for the animals (thanks Albertsons of Millwood) and others brought food and drinks for the volunteers. “After

the fire was over, I began to look at the list of people who called to offer their homes and pastures for the animals,

and those who called to offer their time or their trailers for transport and was amazed that there was easily over 50

offers of help, what a great statement about the community in which we live,” said Jackie Bell, Development

Coordinator for SCRAPS.

HEART volunteers were at the shelter all night caring for the animals and watching the hillside as the flames

began to diminish. The next day SCRAPS was able to see all the animals off safely and close the temporary

shelter down knowing that our job was done. Thanks to everyone who helped during this community crisis!

H.E.A.R.T. deployed to Buxton, Maine
(courtesy of Angela Roth)
Due to the sensitive nature of the case no on-site photos were allowed.
left to right are Brenda Stanton, Julie Mauer, Lou Ratcliff, Angela Roth and Barbara Arenal
(back row) Lou Ratcliff, Brenda Stanton, Courtney Orlin, Char Quinn, Angela Roth, Karen Moes, Barbara Arenal, Julie Mauer, Prima Mosi (front row) Barb Davis, Bill Grimes.
Left to right is (Back Row) Lou Ratcliff, Bill Grimes, Prima Mosi, Courtney Orlin, Brenda Stanton, Barbara Arenal, Angela Roth, (Front Row) Char Quinn, Barb Davis, Julie Mauer, Karen Moes
Brenda Stanton and Angela Roth taking a breather in Maine.
H.E.A.R.T. Training at Spokane Country Regional Animal Protection Services
Water Rescue Course Taught at the Spokane River
Oklahoma Deployment July 2007
Our very own Spokane H.E.A.R.T.
Tami Smith with Kitten
Hurricane Katrina
The Animal Planet Truck
Helping out after Katrina
The Animal Planet Truck
Getting Ready for Another Day
On the go with trailers in tow
That's one big net! Here doggie, doggie!
That is one big net!
Food!!! Yeah!!
One more house down
"Hey Guys! You got food?"
Another happy customer
Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
guttercats2  guttercats3
IVdog kittencatfood

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