Meet the Montana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

About HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR)
Mary Martin HOPEAACR

Mary Martin, HOPE AACR Rocky Mountain Regional Director, and Ellie, her current HOPE dog.

HOPE AACR is a national all-volunteer, 501c3 nonprofit, crisis response organization with specially trained handlers (psychological first-aid, incident command, etc.) and canines trained and tested for crisis response work. The organization seeks to: provide comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters.

Animal-Assisted Crisis Response is based on the scientifically proven benefits of the human-animal bond. The teams are educated to be effective and professional while working in stressful, unpredictable environments.


Since 2001, HOPE AACR teams have responded to the aftermath of crises and disasters from individual traumas to large scale emergencies such as school shootings, hurricanes, fires, loss of first-responders, and more. HOPE AACR teams responded to manmade disasters like the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks to large-scale natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

Teams work with the Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), schools, and other groups that work in disaster services and/or have experienced traumatic events.

HOPE AACR in Montana

HOPE AACR is both a National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) organization and part of the Montana VOAD.

The organization’s dedicated volunteers and their canines have responded to over 25 school and 10 American Red Cross traumatic events across Montana. In 2009, the HOPE Teams were requested during the Bozeman downtown explosion and the Butte airplane disaster.

The teams have had the honor of serving those working many of these events (school administrators, law enforcement, firefighters, and American Red Cross volunteers). In the past nine year, HOPE AACR has served hundreds of Montanans across the state in their time of need.

Learn More:

For more information on HOPE AACR, visit:  To learn more about HOPE ACCR in Montana, contact:

Mary Martin
Rocky Mountain Regional Director, HOPE AACR


Line Break