We Save Lives
Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) was established in 2004 by veterinarian Dr. Janet Olson in response to the tragic loss of a pet in a house fire in her community. The burning home belonged to a firefighter, and his 13 year old German Shorthaired Pointer named BART was trapped inside. The department was able to put out the fire and locate Bart, but he was unresponsive. The firefighters, including Dr. Olson’s husband, did not have the knowledge or equipment to help Bart; he succumbed to smoke inhalation. The entire fire department was deeply affected by this tragedy and felt helpless to save a family member of one of their own. Dr. Olson developed the BART program in honor and memory of Bart the dog, to prepare first responders for animals they encounter on the scene of emergencies and disasters and ensure fewer families will suffer a similar loss. BART’s focus has evolved beyond helping the individual family pet in a day-to-day emergency (i.e. house fire, motor vehicle accident, ice water rescue) to empowering first responders to address pets and livestock encountered in more large-scale local and state emergencies such as floods and tornadoes. BART is proud to have educated and trained over 5000 first responders in Minnesota, Iowa, and Oklahoma and envisions further national expansion in the years to come.
To empower “First Responders” (fire, police, EMS) with the training, knowledge and equipment necessary to help animals encountered in day-to-day emergencies as well as large scale disasters.