In 2017 the American Pet Products Association, Inc. conducted a National Pet Owners Survey. Their data shows that currently, pet ownership stands at 68% of all US households. With the US Census reporting 124.587 million households, the number of pet-owning households nationwide is 84.7 million. Guardian Angel is headquartered in Franklin County, Vermont and Vermont pet ownership is above that average with 71% of families having pets. That means in Franklin County alone, according to the 2010 US Census figures, those numbers equate to 18,513 households with an estimated 13,144 of them having household pets. That is a lot of cats, dogs, bunnies, and turtles that are affected when disaster strikes.
The fact that most people consider their pets as members of the family and refuse to leave them behind when being evacuated due to an emergency has been proven over and over in emergencies all over the country. The same is true in Franklin County, VT.
The sheltering of humans is pretty well organized in the area however the ability to shelter and care for pets in close proximity to their owner’s evacuation location is not quite as well organized. Guardian Angel Ministries is taking the lead in developing, building, organizing and managing a Disaster Animal Response Team or DART in the county.
Just a note, Guardian Angel Ministries is a faith-based organization but we DO NOT discriminate in the provision of Emergency Services. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; some claim a particular faith background and others do not; and we serve ALL people regardless of their faith background. We are sharing the love and compassion that we believe is an essential piece of the mission of our lives.