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Sunday, October 11, 2009

SART at the 155th Bloomsburg Fair

155th Bloomsburg Fair 2009 ~Experiencing it through a Flip Video Camera

Tell tale signs of the Bloomsburg fair: Rain, livestock, traffic, aromas of fried food, funnel cake, complaints about the traffic, smell of livestock, and laughter.

I have not actually walked through the fair in about four years since I became a member of the State Animal Response Team (SART) because along with the team I have become part of the fair attractions. For the last four years Peter and I spruce up the dogs, parade them in front of the SART trailer, and prepare to entertain and enlighten all those who pass us. We prepare ourselves for the same old questions such as how much do they weigh, how much do they eat, do they shed, is there a lot of drool, and can I pet them? Although the questions are the same year after year the faces are not and I love to watch the public’s expressions as they approach Chance or Steeler. I don’t think I ever noticed it quite as much as I did this year when I started taking a video rather than still pictures. When you’re taking still photos usually there are only one or two subjects in the frame. With the Flip video camera I was able to stop the movie into still frames and take snapshots and that is when I really took notice of the expressions of all the people passing by. The gapers, the gawkers, the wowzers, and the holy cow fair goers. This is not an unusual reaction, we have heard it before on Therapy dog visits, but it takes on a different meaning when it is said over and over by masses of people.

For Pete and I this size of dog is normal, but in reality it is not the norm for the general public and working the fair each year reminds us of that.

Steeler loved the attention as he is such a love hog and a big ham always awaiting the next person to pet him. Chance was his normal reserved, ‘yes I’m here and you can pet me because that’s my job’ self!

Chance and Steeler will be seven years old in February and I am not sure how much longer they will belong to the public, but for now, I am glad that they make numerous of people happy and that many remember them from year to year and return to our trailer at the fair just to see them.

For those of you who are not aware of what the State Animal Response Team (SART) does, we aid animals in disaster as it pertains to rescue, shelter, and care until it is safe for them to return home again with their families. It is SART’S mission that no animal be left behind during a disaster situation. We do not take in stray animals and find them new homes! Many people confuse what we do with rescue or no kill shelters that take in animals and find them a new forever home.

Recently the Columbia/ Montour chapter of SART has teamed up with the local chapter of the Red Cross in Danville, so for residents needing to seek shelter with the Red Cross at the Danville High School, bring your animals with you as SART will have a shelter set up right down the hall in the Ag room. We also have shelters at Bloomsburg University, Bewick High school, and Southern Columbia school district.

SART is always in need of volunteers and there is plenty to do for everyone, from rescue to caring for the animals, however it is imperative that you officially sign up with SART and you can do this by going online at Once you fill out the application you’ll need a brief orientation, and will eventually need to take a couple of 2 – 4 hour classes which can also be done open book on your computer. I always enjoyed taking the courses in an open forum with friends, food, fun, and question asking. You can’t ask your computer a question if you are confused about something. Well, I take that back, you can, but the people around you will think you’re in need of medication!

I am going to place a form below of how a resource volunteer can help as well as an expiation of what is required to be an active SART volunteer. (Don’t let the course requirements scare you, they’re a breeze) Even though it says Columbia/ Montour County, most counties in Pennsylvania have a SART and you can find the one nearest you by going to the SART website, open the map and click on the county where you live. The county coordinator’s name and number will show up on the screen so you can contact them.

So, go to a meeting, or read the meeting minutes online and feel free to lurk a bit before you totally commit to it. Remember the definition of a volunteer is “A person who performs or offers to perform a service voluntarily” It’s not like we’re gonna’ hold a gun to your head and make you do something you are not comfortable with! Everyone has expertise and knowledge in something, just dig deep enough and you’ll find it!
Come, sit, stay, relax, and listen, that’s all we’re asking from you!
To find a SART (or likeness) in other States go to

Enjoy the video of Chance & Steeler at the 155th Bloomsburg Fair and for those of you who were there and contributed to SART, we thank you!

Fair video

Information on the easy to use Flip Video Camera.

County Animal Response Team

What is a resource volunteer?

A resource volunteer is someone who can lend either expertise or resources to assist the team when animals are rescued or sheltered. For example, the team may need help grooming recently rescued animals or finding temporary housing for a goat.

What can you do as a resource volunteer?

Provide temporary housing for a variety of species (dogs, cats, birds, horses, cows, llamas, sheep, goats, reptiles, etc.)
Provide expertise about animal husbandry for specific species
Provide food and bedding for sheltered animals
Lend a helping hand in special situations

Lend equipment to the CART for use during a disaster

What is required of a resource volunteer?

Attend one meeting where you will go through a brief orientation.

CAN YOU HELP? Go to and enroll or mail this form to PASART, 2605 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9364




Email address:__________________________________________________________

Area of interest:
Animal Experience
Species of interest:__________________________________________
Species of interest:__________________________________________
Provide food, bedding or supplies
What might you be able to supply? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team
Columbia ~Montour
County Animal Response Team

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in joining Columbia/Montour County Animal Response Team (CART). CART is a member organization of the PA State Animal Response Team (PASART). Below, you’ll find information on some of the things you’ll need to do in order to get started.

Volunteer Requirements
PASART policy states individuals may volunteer to be members if they are 18 years of age or they are 16 years of age and have submitted a formal written consent from a parent or guardian and must be in compliance with any state and federal regulations regarding the use of minors as volunteers. To be a Level 1 certified responder to an incident or shelter activation, the volunteer must have submitted a Criminal Background Check within 90 days after submitting a membership questionnaire. The volunteer must also submit a signed Code of Conduct, a signed Liability Waiver, a signed Sexual Harassment Policy, and a signed Photo Consent Form.

In order to maintain PASART and/or Columbia/Montour CART certification, it may be required that team members complete or meet a designated requirement as deemed necessary by PASART and/or Columbia/Montour CART. Completion of any additional training as listed on PASART’s website or any training made available through the year by various organizations and other CART’s is optional but highly recommended. In addition, attending and participating in various drills and exercises conducted by any CART is to the team member’s advantage and is encouraged.

A minimum of 8 hours of training per year are required to keep an active status. Meetings for Columbia/Montour counties are held once a month (subject to change periodically) at 7 PM at the Agricultural Center, 702 Sawmill road, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 and is open to anyone interested.

Visit for more information on a SART near you.

Level 1 Requirements

PA State Police Background Check-

Columbia/Montour SART Orientation

FEMA -IS- 700 National Incident Management system

IS-5A Introduction to Hazardous Materials

FEMA IS-100 Incident Command System

FEMA IS 700 & FEMA IS 100 are available to take on line at

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