Source: Valley Roadrunner

VCLAST kicks off 2014 with bold new look!

January 30, 2014

The Valley Center Large Animal Safety Team (VCLAST) is launching 2014 with a new logo and an ambitious training and public awareness program. Founded in 2009 under the County of San Diego Department of Animal services, VCLAST is an all volunteer organization dedicated to providing for the safety of our domestic pets and livestock in a disaster in Valley Center.

In a fire or other emergency situation, VCLAST volunteers will be deployed by the Department of Animal Services to assist first responders with the evacuation and shelter of animals in danger in our community. Members participate in a comprehensive year-round training program to ensure that they are prepared to work as competent team members with other disaster response agencies.

VCLAST also participates in many community events to promote public awareness of disaster preparedness and personal responsibility. Our current drought environment makes this component of community readiness critical. VCLAST urges everyone to have a family emergency plan which also provides for the safety and needs of your animals. Include crates or carriers, food, medications, leashes and dishes in your family “go-kit.” Know where you may go with your animals. If you have large animals and a trailer, keep that trailer in good condition and your vehicles gassed and ready to go if an evacuation is ordered. If you require help, don’t wait – make the call. Emergency responders, and VCLAST, will be at work, but personal preparation can make all the difference in a disaster.

VCLAST offers a wonderful opportunity to volunteer within Valley Center. You may train for a variety of skills and participate at your own comfort level. Not everyone wants to drive a trailer or handle large animals. VCLAST also needs volunteers who can help with shelter activities and offer organizational skills. This is a wonderful way to become involved in your community!

Because VCLAST will be called upon to respond in potentially hazardous situations, they require specialized equipment. In addition to supplies for providing emergency shelter, volunteers working in the field require safety equipment including radios and fire gear. Your donations can help VCLAST be ready to respond to a fire or other local disaster. VCLAST is a non-profit organization and all donations are fully tax deductible.

If you would like to learn more about the Valley Center Large Animal Safety Team, or if you would like to become involved, visit the VCLAST website at, email them at, or call 760-751-1778.