Training Information

Volunteer Training Requirements and Information

In order to be deployed by VDART to a disaster, our team members must

  1. 1. Return a completed Volunteer Application Form and Waiver.
  2. 2. Be at least 18 years of age.
  3. 3. Complete (at a minimum) Level One of the following training curriculum.


DART Level One Training (Required)

Volunteering for Your State Disaster Animal Response Team free, self-paced webinar that introduces volunteers to their state disaster animal response team. Learn more here.

Emergency Animal Sheltering Course

Offered by VDART throughout the year.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Independent Study Courses
(free, self-paced and on-line)


DART Level Two Training (Optional)


DART Level Three Training (Optional)

  • 1. Animal and human rapid water rescue
  • 2. Animal and human rope incline rescue
  • 3. Advanced ICS training
  • 4. Advanced search and rescue
  • 5. Introduction to hazardous materials


Other Training (Optional)

  • 1. Hands-on training (volunteer at your local animal shelter!)
  • 2. Formal and informal animal disaster drills
  • 3. Exotic animal handling
  • 4. Shelter management simulation exercises
  • 5. Communications equipment and protocols
  • 6. Cross training with other state and local DART teams
  • 7. American Red Cross training
    – First Aid/CPR
    – Introduction to Disaster Services
    – Introduction to Disaster Services Mass Care: An Overview
    – Shelter Operations
    – Shelter Simulation
    – Mass Care
    – Emergency Assistance to Families

VDART Video Training Library

This library is meant to be a resource for you to pursue training in the area of your interests.  There are numerous websites with thousands of training videos, so the VDART’s Training and Development Committee selected a few that would be pertinent to our emergency sheltering work.  Jump in and have fun!

Free Red Cross classes

Free Red Cross classes for non-Red Cross volunteers.  One particular class that will assist VDART members is: “Psychological First Aid”.  Here’s the link to register:

Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Conference via ASPCApro

  • Caring this much is exhausting
  • Engaging volunteers
  • Enacting laws that keep pets and people together


ASPCA On-line Learning Lab


ASPCApro Tools & Tips