Thursday • October 21
CST 5:35 | EST 6:35 | MST 4:35 | PST 3:35 | GMT 10:35
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During a Disaster: Us helping Pets, Pets Helping Us
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If your town is affected by a disaster, such as a tornado, a flood or fire that causes widespread damage, do you know how to help your pets? Is there anyone who would come rescue them if you could not? Tom Smith and Craig Dopp of Palatine, IL's Animal Response Team, will talk about how specially trained teams are prepared to help your pet and what you need to know to protect your pet in an emergency. We'll also talk about how dogs themselves are used to help emergency personnel, such as firemen in times of disaster and what the actual physical benefits are to people from contact with our companion animals. Then, to discover exactly how our health is affected by the animals in our lives we will talk to Jan Vincent from the Animal Health Foundation of California.

Photos courtesy of Palatine Animal Response Team
Episode Segments:
Wild About Pets: Animal Response Team
Tom Smith and Craig Dopp explain what an animal response team is, and why they decided to start one in the Chicago suburbs. We discuss what is involved in animal rescue and how you and your pet can become better prepared for an emergency.
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Wild About Pets: Pet Partners
Jan describes the amazing effect pet partners have upon children and adults in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and other facilities. She will tell us all about the Pet Partner Program, and how you can get involved.
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Links to Related Websites:
Look While You Listen!
Visit Wild About to view the photos Susan and her guests are discussing, and for other useful links

Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Thomas L. Smith
Tom was born in Chicago, grew up in Rolling Meadows, IL and attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL. After attending BemidjiStateUniversity in frigid Bemidji, Minnesota where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication, he returned to Rolling Meadows where he worked in the construction trades before being hired by the Palatine Police Department in January of 1978. Tom spent more than 27 years with the department as a patrolman, detective, juvenile officer, police consultant, patrol sergeant and patrol commander and was the Commander of Technical Services when he retired in April 2005. During the last six years of his police career he accepted a part time assignment as the Palatine Emergency Management Agency Coordinator. Upon retiring from the police department, Tom became the full time Emergency Management Coordinator for the Village of Palatine. Throughout his career with the police department Tom amassed hundreds of hours of training in all facets of law enforcement and emergency management while attending such schools as Northwestern’s (IL) Traffic Institute, the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute and the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, AL. He received his Masters Degree in Law Enforcement Administration in 1987 from WesternIllinoisUniversity and was certified as an Illinois Professional Emergency Manager in 2003. In 2000 he earned his Illinois Professional Emergency Manager and has maintained that designation. During his years as a police officer Tom began volunteering with the American Red Cross and has assisted on a number of local disasters and has also responded to nationally declared disasters in Utica, IL for the tornado in April of 2004 and to Texas for Hurricane Rita in September of 2005. Additionally, he traveled to Atlanta, GA in September of 2004 as a FEMA employee where along with other Emergency Managers from Illinois, set up and ran a registration process that placed Citizen Corps and CERT volunteers in Florida following Hurricanes Charlie and Ivan. Tom has been recognized by the Palatine Park District and the Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago for his volunteer work in the community. He is a Past President of the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA), serves on the Emergency Management and Volunteer and Donations Committee of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF), is co-founder and current President of the Northern Illinois Emergency Management Consortium (NIEMC), is one of three leaders of the Illinois Emergency Management Assistance Team, is a licensed ham radio operator (KB9ZTL) and member of the Amateur Radio Relay League, is a member of the Cook County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), serves on Palatine’s Citizen Corps Council and is the Manager of their CERT Program, is a member of the EMS Region IX Hospital Terrorism Task Force and is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers. Tom and Mari his wife of thirty-four years, live in Cary, IL and have three grown children Kelly (Matt Groves), Jackie and Stephanie, and two grandchildren, Lily and Margie.

Palatine Animal Response Team Website

Jan Vincent
Jan Vincent, CPDT-KA is a credentialed companion animal trainer and behavior consultant that has served on the Board of Trustees of the Animal Health Foundation of California for the last 6 years, with 2 years serving as President. One of the goals of the Animal Health Foundation is to enhance the human-animal bond through community outreach and the Foundation's sponsorship of over 100 therapy animal teams in Southern California. Jan is a professional member of APDT, licensed Delta Society Evaluator, an American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator, and an affiliate of Peaceable Paws of Hagerstown, MD. She has coordinated the Animal Health Foundation’s Pet Partner Program for the last six years and has set up documented therapy animal literacy programs in 5 school districts, coordinated visiting opportunities for adult day care facilities, hospice, acute care facilities, rehabilitation and VA Hospitals. When not volunteering with the Animal Health Foundation, Jan has her own business Four Paws U working with family companion animals.

Pet Partners Program (AHF)


How we benefit from animals:
"Moment By Moment" by The Delta Society.