Animal Technical Rescue Awareness/Technician Class

Animal Technical Rescue Awareness and Technician is a California State Fire Training course that teaches advanced technical rescue techniques for the extrication and rescue of animals.  Earlier this year a class was held in Bidwell Park in Chico, coordinated through NVADG with NVADG supplies and taught by the certified training company, Animal Rescue Training.  NVADG volunteers were joined by Cal Fire firefighters and other Community Animal Rescue Team (CART) volunteers.  It was a valuable training for all the organizations involved.  NVADG appreciates being able to make this multi-agency, regional training available due to generous donations from our contributors.

Articles of Incorporation


ONE: The name of this corporation is the North Valley Animal Disaster Group.

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Board Members: Officers and Directors

2020 Board Members and Directors

Note:   If you have an urgent request, please call our hotline 530-895-0000.  These emails are not monitored regularly when we are busy with evacuations. Thank you.

John Maretti - Executive Director (Contact)
Kate Leyden - President (Contact)
Norm Rosene - Vice President (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Kim Groom - Secretary (Contact)
Kathy Fracolli - Treasurer (Contact)
Leah Critchfield
Debbie Mueller
Christina Skaggs
Thomas Smith
Lee Ann Weaver


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Butte Resolution

Resolution Establishing the North Valley Animal Disaster Group as an Affiliate of the Butte County Public Health Department and Declaring Intention to Utilize Criminal History Information Screening in Connection with Volunteer Services

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Camp Fire Update - February 2019

The Camp Fire has moved beyond the initial disaster/evacuation phase to the recovery phase.

NVADG, as an immediate emergency disaster-response organization, has wound down our Camp Fire emergency response.  The emergency shelters are closed and our local daily shelters are handling the daily shelter activities.  NVADG emergency shelter equipment is being repaired and replaced.  We are getting prepared for the next disaster, when we will again activate to provide immediate emergency shelter and evacuation for animals. CampFireSIP1

Disaster Service AreaWe activate during emergencies, when the quantity of animals and calls would overwhelm Animal Control services and daily shelters.  The Camp Fire generated over 10,000 calls and 3,500 requests for service from people evacuated from their homes.  The role of NVADG is to provide temporary disaster response for evacuation and care of animals.  We help people by helping their animals during a disaster.  We deactivate when the evacuation is over and local animal control can manage the workload.

All of the Camp Fire animals who were in our emergency shelters were reunited, fostered or surrendered for adoption.  This applies to the 4,000 animals who went through the emergency shelters.  We applaud the work of the hundreds of volunteers who worked to track down owners all over Northern California.   About 300 cats and 27 dogs were relocated to local animal shelters for adoption when the emergency shelters closed.  Livestock found new homes with 4-H and FFA students.

Today, there are still animals being found on the Ridge, and reunifications happening, thanks to the many volunteers and animal control shelters in the community.  We appreciate the daily work being done on behalf of all lost and found animals to provide care, reunification and fostering.  Historically we know animals will resurface for months after a fire.  If you are still looking for your pet, check back with these volunteers and with the local animal shelters. 

NVADG is extremely proud of our volunteers for the thousands of hours of service they provided during the worst fire in California history. We are grateful and appreciative of our tremendous supporters who donated to help the animals during this horrific disaster. “Thank you” does not begin to convey our gratitude for your efforts during this difficult time. Please understand that your help and support saved or improved the lives of thousands of animals.

ASPCA NVADGWe hope that you will continue to volunteer with the group, or support NVADG as we move forward with future disaster responses. Please follow NVADG at: and NVADG on Facebook. At our annual training in January, 160 new volunteers went through the 16-hour basic training to become NVADG-trained.  They join the other hundreds of volunteers who are ready to respond during the next fire, flood, or earthquake.  Our next annual training is the 3rd week in January. 

NVADG is prepared to help people evacuate by helping their animals whenever that next disaster occurs.

COVID-19 Protocols

With social distancing and other protective safeguards, deploying to an incident will offer new challenges. First Responders like Police, Fire, EMS, and SAR continue to respond to emergencies daily. If we are activated, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you have a fever, or are not feeling well, please stay at home.
  • If you have been exposed to anyone who may have the virus, please stay at home.
  • If you are a member of a vulnerable population, such as having an immune-compromised system or other factors, please stay at home.

If you do decide that it is safe for you to respond:

  • Wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide a N-95 mask for you.
  • Attempt to adhere to social distancing parameters as much as possible. (This may not be feasible.)
  • Clean your workstation frequently. We will provide sanitized wipes.
  • Wash your hands frequently. We will provide hand sanitizer.

Conditions will not be ideal. We will attempt to maintain social distancing when dealing with the public as much as possible. Inevitably, there will be issues that will come up that we have not considered. We will discuss these in a calm, rational manner and come up with the best solution, adhering to protocols from the CDC and Butte County Public Health.

Currently, Animal Control, 211, and the COVID Hotline (530-552-3050) are dealing with most animal issues. We are not anticipating being requested, but as we all know, fire season is right around the corner.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the community and especially the furry ones.

Deployments - Nelson Fire, Oroville

On June 17, 2020 a vegetation fire began at Nelson Ave and 16th Street, Oroville. Evacuations began and by 12:30 NVADG was activated. Luckily by 15:00 the fire crews had the fire 50% contained and by 15:30 NVADG was deactivated.


Friends and Sponsors

Friends and sponsors of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group listed below donate money, time, services and or supplies to us.

Please patronize them whenever possible.

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Mission statement

Working with emergency services to educate the public about disaster preparedness, and assist in sheltering and evacuation of animals during a disaster.

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The Best Practices Working Groups developed out of a partnership between NARSC (National Animal Rescue and Shelter Coalition) and NASAAEP (National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs) to bring together subject matter experts in all ares of emergency animal response to develop a series of best practices white papers. These working groups have developed best practices in the following areas:

Newsletter subscription

Sign up for our prospective volunteer list if you are interested in volunteering. Sign up for our stakeholders list if you want to stay informed of general happenings.

NVADG History

North Valley Animal Disaster Group History

When was the group started?

The North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) was started in the summer of 2002.

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Standard Operating Guidelines

If you see any errors or emissions, or would like to explore creating a new SOG, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NVADG is an all-volunteer group. We work with emergency services to evacuate and shelter animals during disasters.  We help people by helping their animals during disasters.


The Bloomer Repeater is up and running!!

It's Live!   L.D. Strobel Co, Inc. has installed the long awaited Bloomer antenna. This project has taken almost 2 years to complete. What does this mean for NVADG? It means that an antenna and associated feedline was added to the Butte County Tower on Bloomer Hill and is dedicated to NVADG radio traffic exclusively. According to John Maretti, NVADG Executive Director, "During the Camp Fire it became very clear that communications in our primary area of service was inadequate. We were able to set up a temporary radio repeater on Bloomer Mountain that enabled us to keep in contact with our crews in the field. This was critical since the fire was moving so rapidly." When the after-action report was reviewed NVADG made improving critical communications a high priority. "Sheriff Honea was essential in getting us permission for a permanent radio repeater on Bloomer." Maretti said. The NVADG Bloomer Repeater went live in April, just in time for the 2020 fire season.

The Butte Lightning Complex Fires 2020

The Sunday, August 16 Lightning Siege had NVADG holding its collective breath.  We heard the thunder, saw the strikes, and knew the smoke would come next.

And it did.

By Monday there were 35 active fires covering over 100 miles north to south of Butte County.  For a while it looked like evacuations would be required in both the north and south ends of the county, potentially requiring two evacuation and sheltering locations.

Fortunately, that did not happen.

Evacuations began at 4pm Monday in Oroville.  NVADG, in partnership with Butte County Animal Control, opened emergency shelters for small animal and large animals.  Two evacuation teams quickly responded to requests for service. 

Fortunately, CalFire, aircraft and mutual aid were able to contain the fire’s march toward Oroville.  They performed heroic efforts and thus far have succeeded in keeping all 35 fires from getting into populated areas of Butte County.  We extend our deepest appreciation to the men and women who have been working double and triple shifts to manage these fires.  Thank you.

NVADG volunteers have also been supporting the emergency animal sheltering efforts on the LMU Lightning Complex.  We stand by ready to provide supplies and support across northern California.  We share everyone's concern about the potential for more dry lightning this weekend.

NVADG has trained over 900 volunteers state-wide in the past 15 years on best practices for disaster response for animals.  We are proud to be part of the California-wide response to animal care in this very challenging time.  Thank you to all the donors and volunteers who together have made this response possible.

Vision statement

A prepared world, where animals are rescued and sheltered compassionately during disasters.

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  1. Whistleblower Policy

During Emergency

If this is an emergency, please call our hotline at 530-895-0000.  Emails are not monitored regularly when we are busy working active evacuations.

Contact Info


If this is an emergency, please call our hotline at 530-895-0000.  Emails are not monitored regularly when we are busy working active evacuations.

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Mailing Address

PO Box 441
Chico, CA 95927-0441 USA


(530) 895-0000