Big Bend DART was established in 1996 with a few volunteers and $40 in a tin can. The team adopted a threefold mission: (1) rescue and retrieve animals left behind in a disaster; (2) shelter and care for those animals until they can be returned to their families; and (3) educate the public about disaster preparedness for animals. Underlying this mission is a core belief: DART teams are emergency responders. They are activated only when asked by the agency or organization managing a disaster response. Big Bend DART has responded to several hurricane situations by setting up temporary shelters for animals through a partnership with the local Red Cross chapter. The team includes veterans of Hurricanes Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, and Katrina. Since DART is an all-volunteer organization, your entire contribution WILL be put to work to help the animals.