CARES Strategic Plan


The California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES) is committed to serving the people of California by supporting animal care efforts during all phases of emergency management.  CARES strives to lead by using an innovative and collaborative approach that complies with the Standardized Emergency Management System.

Core Values

  • Service to California
  • Leadership
  • Collaborative approach
  • Innovative approach


  • To serve the people of the State of California by coordinating support and resources for all animals, during all phases of emergency management, in all types of hazards;
  • To support local agencies in all phases of animal emergencies;
  • To fulfill and promote state mandates regarding animals in disasters;
  • To assist in preventing and minimizing animal suffering during emergencies.


  • Outreach to the public through electronic and printed information and participation in disaster preparedness activities to improve the level of emergency preparedness for animal owners, businesses, animal shelters and local emergency planners;
  • Maintain a volunteer network of stakeholders who collaboratively pool resources and expertise that can be utilized by CARES;
  • Support of individuals, municipalities as well as non-government stakeholders (private non-profits and animal/ agriculture businesses) in developing animal emergency plans;
  • Develop, maintain and implement the CARES Concept of Operations and Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Provide stakeholders with training on CARES-related topics including SEMS/ NIMS, ICS, CARES Operation Procedures, and other animal disaster subjects;
  • Create and manage a statewide CARES coordinator network to represent the system in all levels of SEMS