(c) LLM Todd 2015

Lessons from the Valley Fire

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your home and your pets immediately after a disaster. Be it flood, fire or earthquake…

What is your plan to ensure the health and safety of your animals once your family is accounted for? For many of us, the Valley Fire still haunts us with the news of lives lost, neighborhoods of leveled homes and images of animals displaced, injured or killed.

As a community, we showed incredible unity and support for the victims of the Valley fire. We learned that we needed a more organized and integrated approach to take on the animal component of a disaster, as local officials were overwhelmed with the human element and response.

As part of the Napa County Livestock Council's overall mission to advocate for animals, the Council joined other members of the Napa Community in 2016 to form the Napa Community Animal Response Team.  This local volunteer effort raises community awareness, trains volunteers, and builds resources to be prepared for the next disaster and emergencies involving animals.

Napa CART is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit organization (#82-3738768).

Be prepared.  See our Emergency Preparedness Resources.


Napa CART brings together volunteers with a broad range of relevant skills, including veterinary, operations, incident management, volunteer coordination and financial experience.


Claudia Sonder, DVM

President and Board Member

Claudia Sonder, DVM, is a 1995 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and serves as the Director of Equine Outreach at the Center for Equine Health.  She oversees the intramural equine veterinary research granting program at the school of veterinary medicine, and is responsible for raising funding support for equine programs. Dr. Sonder served as CEH Director from 2012-2016 and oversaw the UC Davis CEM Quarantine during that time.


Saanen Kerson

Vice President, Secretary and Board Member

Saanen was born and raised on a farm, where her family raised dairy goats, saddle horses, donkeys, a mule, chickens, cows, pigs, llamas, sheep, and farmed with draft horses.  Her family founded and has directed Vine Village since its inception in 1972 and she is currently Associate Director, Certified Administrator, and Client Care Manager of Vine Village, Inc. She attended local schools and graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a member of the Cal softball team.  Saanen is currently the Head Varsity Softball Coach at Vintage High School.



Sheila Edginton

Treasurer and Board Member

Sheila Edgington is the Treasurer and Board Member of Napa CART. She is a Senior Underwriting Analyst with The Doctors Company and has been Treasurer and Board Member for Napa Valley Horsemen’s for the past 7 years. She has a passion for helping animals and was excited to volunteer with a group of like minded people. Sheila was born and raised in Napa and resides with her husband, 2 children, 4 horses, 2 mini goats, and 30 animals on a small farm in the Coombsville area.



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Tom MacDonald

Liaison Officer

Tom MacDonald brings varying experiences to Napa CART. In the early 1980’s, Tom was responsible for United Airlines Operations Center, which planned the comings and goings of flights at the terminal and reacted when things didn’t go according to plan. Tom was also responsible for UAL Emergency Procedures Manual at SFO.  For the past 20 years, Tom has managed Operations Central for the Tour de Cure, a bike ride with 2000-2500 riders and hundreds of volunteers. Tom will leverage these skills and experiences to cooperate and liaison with Napa County during an emergency.


Scott Atkinson

Small Animal Shelter Lead

Scott Atkinson is the Leader for the Small Animal Sheltering activities of Napa CART and resides in Calistoga.  He is the President of Napa Valley Materials, a supplier of specialty landscape materials focusing on environmentally-friendly projects. From more than two decades of project management in landscape and materials, Scott brings extraordinary skills in ensuring our emergency animal sheltering efforts are efficiently laid out, properly staffed, kept well stocked and a healthy environment for pets and people.

Coral Mika

Coral Mika


Coral Mika is the Dispatch Manager for Napa CART and resides in Napa. She is a supply chain management and logistics expert, currently working in the wine industry. Coral is a certified Disaster Service Worker and has worked and trained extensively with other emergency animal rescue groups. She intends to focus on evacuation, dispatch and small animal sheltering within Napa CART. Coral has volunteered with various organizations since the age of 11, with her true passion being animal welfare, rescue and rehabilitation.

How You Can Help

Safe, humane rescue, evacuation and sheltering of animals requires well-trained first responders, veterinary professionals and volunteers.  Are you a First Responder or Veterinary Professional ?  Become trained in animal trauma and rescue through our training programs for professionals.

Trained community volunteers provide much needed additional support and resources during natural disasters and emergencies.  Volunteer and become certified to provide assistance in emergency situations.

Donations enable us to provide the education, advocacy, specialty equipment and care that ensures the best outcome for companion animals and livestock in emergency situations.