Community Animal Response & Evacuation Group

Expressing her interestes in developing a disaster plan for people and their pets in her neighborhood, Conejo Valley (Ventura County) Realtor Toni Hanson called her friend June, the wife of the former California Senator David Roberti. June suggested Toni call Gretchen Wyler., Vice President of The Humane Society of the United States Hollywood Office. Toni and Gretchen enthusiastically began plans for a very unique pilot program which would be offered to other communities.

These two women invited individuals to join them, people from different backgrounds, some of whom spent time in search and rescue after Hurricane Katrina. This group of people came together to formulate an inventive program to inspire other areas. Herewith are the members of the C.A.R.E. (Community Animal Response and Evacuation) Program:

Gretchen Wyler founded an animal shelter in Warwick New York many years ago. She was the first woman to sit on the Board of the American Society for the Protection of Animals, served as Vice-Chairwoman of the National Fund for Animals. She was the founder of the Genesis Awards Event and TV Special, which honors members of the media for producing works which raise public awareness of animal issues. Most recently, Gretchen served as Vice-President of the Hollywood office of The Humane Society of the U.S. Rob L. is a retired Police Sergeant and an active Real Estate Broker.  He is also a K-9 companion at his local animal shelter.  Rob is well versed in the Incident Command System and was selected by The HSUS to respond to the Katrina disaster to aid in animal search and rescue. Rob has received training in canine behavior and conducts temperment testing for LADACC.
Kathy J. has worked in the Animal Regulation field for 33 years, serving as the Director of her County Agency since 1978. Working in Southern California, she and her staff have participated in hundreds of large-scale animal evacuations due to wildland fires, earthquakes and floods. As an integral part of the County -Wide Disaster Council, she has attended training sessions at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Tom B. has been with the American Red Cross a little over 11 years, during which he has responded to more than 25 major disasters. The care of pets in disasters is always an important priority for the American Red Cross. We fully value them as family members as much as their own families do. The solution to their care is almost always found in partnerships with animal welfare groups like HSUS and government partners like Ventura County Animal Regulation.
Mark S. is a Real Estate Developer and Appraiser. He is also a volunteer at his local county animal shelter with 5 years and many hours of service under his belt. Mark responded to the Katrina disaster by traveling to New Orleans and assisting in animal rescue.

Toni H., an animal lover and a 20-year real estate veteran specializing in relocation avidly fights toward ending animal misfortune. This dog lover devotedly strives to raise animal rights awareness by supporting and promoting groups like The HSUS, CARL, and Evacuatemypet.com by participating in and hosting fundraisers such as the Annual Pooch Parade. Toni, now with Prudential California Realty, is also grateful to her friends and colleagues at Coldwell Banker Westlake Village Promenade Office and to both Prudential and Coldwell Banker for their continuous support.

Rene S.R. has been a Realtor for 18 years with Century 21 America.  Her spare time is spent volunteering and planning fundraisers for local rescue groups and networking with other rescuers to help find homes for needy animals.  She also works to educate people to spay and neuter their pets.  She and her husband share their home with multiple furry children. She credits her participation in this program to her Katrina rescue dog "Pinky", who succumbed to illness 6 months after she arrived from the disaster area.  "This is for you Pinky" --R.  

Valerie M. trains Service Dogs for the disabled and is a behavior modification trainer for companion dogs.  She joined the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina hit and has been volunteering at her local chapter since returning from the Gulf region. She is involved with her local "Hospice" as a patient care volunteer.

Richard L. has been an animal advocate for over 10 years, lending his strength and time in the development and repair of new enclosures to various non-profit animal-protection organizations such as The HSUS, Best Friends, Los Angeles Dept. of Animal Services, California Wildlife Center, Animal Acres, and other animal shelters across Southern California. He spent 2 weeks as a Search and Rescue volunteer for The HSUS in the trenches after Hurricane Katrina.


Contact C.A.R.E.:

(805) 358-8760 or (818) 522-7311


"Dear Evacuatemypet.com,
I wanted to tell you how impressed I was with your web site.  All the information was crucial and very accurate and shows the love and respect you have for animals and their survival.  I have used your forms and information in the monthly preparedness bulletin that I write for the City each month."

Pamela Cummings
Emergency Preparedness Department

City of Los Angeles