EL Niño: Animal Rescues and the WOW Factor

When and if we get lots of rain from El Niño animal rescuers are warning that dogs, cats and other critters could easily become flood or mudslide victims. Using phony animals to practice rescues LA Animal Services SMART Team has been at work practicing every kind of possible rescue. 

The specially stuffed dog, cat and a horse mannequin to practice maneuvers even though they knew a real animal crisis can be considerably different. The phony animals are all known as MARTE. Animal Services Officer Armando Navarrete says “MARTE stands for Mock Animals for Rescue Training Exercises." He says, "MARTE had to be invented because to train with live animals… it was not a good idea. It wasn’t safe.”

Navarette worries the El Niño rainy season could have a magnitude of WOW. He says, “WOW, to me, is rivers overflowing, streets overflowing, storm drains not being able to filter the drains fast enough.” And, lots of animal rescues and not just water ones. Navarrette points out, “We have large animals, cows, horses, pigs that get stuck in mud situations because of where they’re located at anywhere they’re housed.”

The Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue -  or SMART TEAM - has been preparing for winter rains for weeks. But, they say their real-life animal rescues from big horses to this orphaned baby raccoon are a big part of being ready if and when rains and rescues comes.

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