Three County Animal Response Teams joined forces this weekend during a hands-on simulation drill.

The teams, which consisted of members from Carbon, Schuylkill and Lehigh Valley CARTs, met at the farm of Pearl Sheckler in Jim Thorpe Saturday morning to work with a number of farm animals on the scene.

The drill was not announced so CART members were unaware that the event was an exercise until they arrived.

Donna Crum, the emergency coordinator for Carbon CART and the lead on scene, explained that the drill consisted of various scenarios that the teams had to evaluate before being able to transport the animals to safety. The drills included moving five horses one was pregnant, one was afraid of water, and one had an injured leg two donkeys; two goats; and 24 chickens, from the inside of a barn to "safety" in outdoor corrals, pens and trailers.

"This allows us to learn and teach each other," Crum said about the training exercise.

She said that this drill was an excellent way to make sure the teams are prepared in case a real animal emergency happens.

Last Thursday, the Carbon CART was activated to a call for a horse down in East Penn Township.

Crum said that the horse had been down for a few hours before the team arrived.

When CART members arrived on scene, they found very muddy conditions where the horse was stuck.

Since Carbon does not have large animal equipment yet, Schuylkill, Lehigh and Northampton CART teams, as well as a veterinarian were also deployed to the scene.

Once the horse was sedated because it had labored breathing and was overheated from being stuck, the teams were able to lift the horse using a backhoe and other equipment.

Crum announced to the teams on Saturday that she received word that the horse was doing well.

Crum said that incident was a learning experience for the team; and helped find equipment that still needs to be purchased.

She thanked everyone for their efforts, both at the incident on Thursday and at the drill; as well as Sheckler for the use of her farm and animals.

The Carbon CART team is a volunteer team that aims to help animals during emergencies.

Volunteers are always needed, Crum noted, adding that there are various positions in addition to working with animals. They include safety people to help out by checking on those that are handling animals; provide volunteers with water on scene, obtain supplies from the trailer, keep track of things removed from the trailer and more.

To find out more about the Carbon CART team, check out the group's Facebook page Carbon CART (County Animal Response Team).

Donations are also being accepted to help the team stay prepared for emergencies. Items needed include: a stock trailer, tow ropes and chains, portable corral, horse glide, horse halters and leads, various lengths of heavy duty rope, working walkie talkies, cleaning supplies and trash bags.