Training Information

Volunteer Training Requirements

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 – Basic

Offered by VDART throughout the year.

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


Level Two Training (Optional)


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