During an animal emergency response, responders may be placed in situations that can threaten their health and health of the animals they are trying to assist. During the initial stages of a response, the health risks to humans and animals are unknown. Whether rescuing animals from floodwaters or assisting in the intake and care of animals in an emergency shelter: responders may be faced with potential hazards. Potential hazards include:
- Chemical (agricultural chemicals, petroleum products),
- Biological (zoonotic disease agents, bacterial or viral agents),
- Radiological (intentional or accidental release of radioactive substances),
- Mechanical (dog bites, needle sticks), and
- Environmental (noise, temperature extremes, contaminated floodwaters).