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Douglas County Animal Response Team (CART)

The Douglas County Office of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating animal sheltering during an emergency.  If you are asked to evacuate, make every attempt to take your pets and livestock with you but also understand your safety and the safety of your family members should take precedence.  If your neighborhood receives a pre-evacuation notice, consider leaving as soon as possible; animals, especially livestock, take a considerable amount of time to gather, load, and transport.  To sign up for emergency notifications, please visit

Douglas County Animal Response Team

The Douglas County Animal Response Team (DCART) provides those in need with assistance in boarding their companion animals and non-commercial backyard livestock during times of evacuation caused by wildland fires and other natural and manmade disasters.

Formed in 2003, a year after the Hayman Fire affected a number of citizens and taxpayers in Douglas County, the DCART was developed to provide shelter, food, and veterinary care for evacuated animals during emergency situations.

The DCART is comprised of volunteers from the Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL), the Douglas-Elbert County Horse Council, and other non-governmental organizations.

DDFL assists DCART in the care and sheltering of small companion animals such as dogs, cats, pocket pets, chickens, etc.  For more information regarding the DDFL Volunteer Program, please visit  Emergency volunteering with DDFL is only available to existing DDFL volunteers.

The Douglas-Elbert County Horse Council assists DCART in the care and sheltering of non-commercial backyard livestock such as horses, llamas, alpacas, goats, and other livestock.  For more information regarding DECHC and emergency volunteer opportunities, please visit

What does DCART do?

DCART serves the citizens of Douglas County by providing shelter, food, and veterinary care for companion animals and non-commercial backyard livestock, including cattle, horses, llamas, chickens, dogs, etc. when community members are evacuated due to a disaster.

What doesn’t DCART do?

DCART volunteers do not assist with the transportation of animals to shelters during an emergency. If you cannot get your animals safely to shelter, and do not have a trusted friend, neighbor or relative to safely assist you in this, please contact 911 at the time of the emergency.

DCART does not provide shelter space for commercial livestock.

Commercial livestock, boarding operations and breeders are encouraged to develop an evacuation plan for their facilities, to include a pre-designated evacuation shelter point for their facility’s animals. 

Where are the primary shelters?

The DCART utilizes the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock, CO 80104 as its primary location for a co-located human and animal sheltering during a disaster.

If this shelter is unavailable due to the proximity of the disaster or if it is full, OEM will provide alternative sheltering information at that time. During an emergency, monitor the Douglas County website and media outlets for the most up-to-date information regarding human and animal sheltering.

Emergency Preparation

What do I need to know before bringing my animals to a shelter?

  • If possible, bring a three-day supply of food for your animals to the shelter during a time of evacuation. Food will be provided if you do not bring it or more is needed.
  • If your animal is on medication, please bring a two-week supply.
  • When possible, transport your companion animals in a marked crate you can leave at the shelter. Please bring a leash or harness and proper identification.
  • Health Certificates and Vaccination Records
  • When bringing horses, cows, mules and/or donkeys to a Douglas County shelter, inspection and/or brand papers are required when the emergency is over and you taking your animals home.
  • For non-commercial backyard livestock, have the appropriate trailer for each type of animal

Familiarize yourself with the County’s Disaster Preparedness Guide, which provides more information on how to prepare both yourself and your animals for emergency evacuation. For livestock or horse, refer to the Plan for Livestock brochure or Horse Evacuation brochure.  t’s best to have a practiced plan ahead of time before disaster strikes.

How do I contact DCART

For more information on DCART, email or call 303-660-7589.