Carbon County's Animal Response Team has new leadership.

During the group's reorganizational meeting on Wednesday evening, it was decided that Diane Sharpless would take over as the team's coordinator.

Carleen Ladden, who served as the group's president for the last two years, welcomed Sharpless into the new lead role.

Others appointed to leadership roles include Mark Richards, co-coordinator; and Donna Kattner, secretary/treasurer.

Following the reorganization, Sharpless opened up the meeting, asking members what direction they would like to see the CART team go in.

A number of members suggested more trainings to help keep them prepared for emergency situations involving animals, including Pet CPR and safety; handling large animals; a sheltering class; and mock emergency drills.

They also decided that they would like to work to create emergency action plans and find ways to get more volunteers involved in the club.

Sharpless announced that Joel Hersh, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team, will be on hand during the group's Feb. 20 meeting to conduct an orientation of the program. The orientation will start at 7 p.m., at the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning. A brief CART meeting will take place before the orientation, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Sharpless says that any person who is interested in helping animals, whether in a fundraising, administrative or hands-on capacity, should attend the orientation, which will outline the requirements of the volunteers.

The CART team has been in existence since 2007 and has helped out during a number of emergency situations involving animals over the last few years.

Some of the goals of CART are to decrease the threat to humans and animals, prevent and decrease the spread of diseases, and minimize the economic impact of animal emergencies.