RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County residents able to volunteer their
time and resources helping save animals during wildfires, floods and other
disasters are being asked to consider joining the Riverside Emergency Animal
Rescue System, which starts its next academy Saturday.
The nonprofit REARS is operated by the county’s Department of Animal
Services, which will be holding a daylong orientation and training session for
the team beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Western Riverside County Animal
Shelter, 6851 Van Buren Blvd., according to agency spokesman John Welsh.
Animal Services Commander Josh Sisler said the group is often
instrumental in relieving fire department personnel from the task of taking
care of domesticated animals during a large-scale emergency.
“For more than 15 years, these dedicated volunteers have been an
amazing resource for us during crisis events,” Sisler said. “We are very
fortunate to work with so many generous people.”
He said people regularly come forward to offer assistance with animal
rescues during emergencies, but the department can only call on trained REARS
volunteers to help.
Most of the volunteers are accustomed to handling large animals
because they’re equine enthusiasts, but the program does not mandate that
volunteers have prior experience with livestock to join.
Once volunteers receive their orientation and training, they are
certified to respond to the county’s calls for assistance.
Information on the program and its requirements is available online at
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