A Colorado pet rescue national disaster response team is headed to Florida

Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-10 14:21:48-04

DENVER -- A Colorado pet rescue team out of Longmont had only been home from Texas for three days before getting the call to go to Florida ahead of Irma making landfall in the state.

The nonprofit national disaster response team specializes in technical animal rescues. The team spent four days in Texas in the aftermath of Harvey.

The first group from Code 3 will be in Tallahassee, Fla., awaiting requests for help once Irma moves past.

"People have to get out of the way in a hurry and sometimes they can't get their pets," said team leader Eric Thompson during a Skype interview with Denver7.

"Sometimes pets are scared and hide. People sometimes don't have time to look for them."

Thompson said his team isn't just trained to rescue household pets. They also deal with large animals, even some that are in large groups.

Code 3 is self-sufficient, using an 80-foot long truck as a home base.

"We have everything we need to be in a zero resource environment," Thompson said. "All my responders carry their own water and we use a generator to work the truck."

Code 3 members risk their own lives to save as many pets as they can and to hopefully reunite them with their families.

"That's what makes it worth it," Thompson said. "For some people, their pets are all they will have left."

Code 3 teams still don't know how long they will be in Florida. It all depends upon Irma's path over the next several days.