LONGMONT — In a merciful year without major disasters, Jim Boller and his colleagues at animal-rescue group Code 3 Associates took the time to beef up training and help others plan for times when their skills will be desperately needed.
Boller, known for his days on Animal Planet’s “Animal Cops: Houston” television show, started his new job as Code 3 Associates’ director of operations in May, hoping to leverage his fame to the benefit of the nonprofit, private animal-rescue organization.
He said Sunday that he and others at Code 3 have been invited to disaster training and planning sessions across the country in the past year, notably aiding planning efforts in New Orleans, Kansas and Michigan.
“Even though it was a slow year on the disaster side of it, it has been a very busy year for the response side of it,” he said.
Boller said he and others at Code 3 have been scrambling to keep up with invitations from governments around the country asking for help in planning for the needs of animals in a disaster. He said it is a major accomplishment that disaster planners are acknowledging that the protection of animals is a vital human interest.
Code 3 also has won grants to pay for scholarships for training in animal rescue and cruelty investigations.
Boller said his national prominence through Animal Planet didn’t solidify the invitations and grants, but it helped.
“It has helped quite a bit with at least opening doors,” he said.
Animal rescue students from across the country are scheduled to attend Code 3’s ice rescue training in January.