Pet Disaster Relief Trailer Prepared for Emergencies

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(Lindenwold, NJ) – Camden County is now equipped with a state-of-the-art AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer that will be available to dispatch to any disaster scenes that need assistance sheltering pets.

“All too often we hear of pets being left behind during emergencies. We see heartbreaking images of dogs on porches after floods, or waiting to be rescued after a hurricane,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Office of Emergency Management. “Camden County is the first in southern New Jersey to have a trailer dedicated to assisting pets that have nowhere else to go during these types of emergency events.”

AKC Pet Disaster Relief, a national program that is dedicated to keeping pets and their owners safe in the aftermath of natural or civil disasters, joined forces with local American Kennel Club dog clubs and dog lovers to present the emergency trailer to the Camden County Freeholder Board. It will be staffed by members of the Office of Emergency Management’s County Animal Response Team (CART).

“CART is comprised of volunteers who are specially trained to assist first-responders in evacuating animals in an emergency,” Young said. “CART volunteers receive training through the Civilian Emergency Volunteer Team, as well as through the American Red Cross and other entities for animal-related preparedness.”

The Pet Disaster Relief Trailer will help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets immediately after a disaster is declared. It is equipped with animal care items including crates, carriers, bowls, collars and leashes, along with AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner. In addition, the trailers house and deliver essential supplies such as fans, lighting, generators, cleaning supplies and maintenance items. These supplies can be used as co-location shelters, where people can evacuate with their pets, as well as emergency animal shelters for displaced animals.

“We want to help our local community be prepared to help people and their pets for any disaster and its aftermath,” said NJ Federation of Dog Clubs president Jeffrey Ball. “We’re proud to donate this trailer to Camden County CART to assist in their future disaster response efforts.”

The purchase of the trailer was made possible by more than $24,000 in donations and grants from local kennel clubs, dog clubs, veterinary clinics, local businesses and AKC Reunite, the nation’s largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service.

The program’s genesis was in response to the devastation after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 where many people stayed in harm’s way because emergency response plans did not accommodate pets. AKC Pet Disaster Relief’s life-saving trailers will enable local Emergency Management organizations across the country to plan, prepare and respond to disasters that impact people and their pets.

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