American Humane Association's Animal Rescue Rig Deploys Today
DENVER The American Humane Association announced this morning that it will deploy its Animal Emergency Services rescue rig to join its fleet of vehicles and volunteer responders already staged in Mississippi, ready to respond to the needs of Hurricane Katrina's animal victims. The state-of-the-art emergency vehicle departs for Louisiana this afternoon, after being loaded at 4 pm with pet food and supplies, donated by PETCO, one of the sponsors of the American Humane Association's Animal Emergency Services program. The semi-truck will be rolling out of Denver from the PETCO store in Englewood, Colorado.
American Humane Association's Animal Emergency Services' rescue rig, which serves as both a mobile veterinary clinic and a temporary shelter for displaced pets, is on its way to join the Veterinary Medical Assistance (VMAT) Team #5 at the Louisiana state line and eventually American Humane Association's other team of Animal Emergency Services volunteers near the Gulf Coast.
Today's deployment of the rescue rig is only one component of the American Humane Association's disaster assistance operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. Seasoned Animal Emergency Services veterans are currently positioned near Jacksonville, Mississippi, with the American Humane Association's other emergency vehicles, making preparations to assist the Mississippi Animal Rescue League in the set-up and operation of an emergency shelter in Hattiesburg to house animals rescued from flooded coastal areas. They will soon be joined by members of the Animal Rescue League of Boston and other animal rescue organizations from across the country.
The truck deploying from Denver today is outfitted to enable responders to carry out emergency procedures under the most challenging disaster conditions. Specialized rescue gear -- including technical dry suits, animal capture equipment, veterinary supplies, three rescue rafts, and water tanks with 300-gallon capacity -- are among the many resources the vehicle houses, not to mention residential facilities -- complete with a kitchen, showers, and bunks -- for up to 12 rescue personnel. With high-tech communications capability -- including fax machines, satellite/cellular phones, computers, and satellite mapping technology -- the rig can also function in the field as an operation command center.
The American Humane Association's efforts to aid the pets of hurricane-devastated communities are projected to continue for a minimum of three weeks and are possible thanks to donations from concerned people, corporate support, and a nationwide network of dedicated volunteer responders. During their time in the field, Animal Emergency Services response teams will share regular updates of their progress, which will be available at www.americanhumane.org/disaster.
Having provided emergency services for animals since World War I -- when the American Humane Association administered care to military horses and dogs injured on the battlefield -- Animal Emergency Services has decades of experience responding to animal needs during natural and manmade disasters. Throughout the record-breaking 2004 hurricane season, the organization worked diligently to care for displaced Florida pets and reunite them with their families.
For information on disaster preparedness for your own pets or to help support American Humane Association's Animal Emergency Services relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, visit www.americanhumane.org.
About the American Humane Association: Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal welfare and protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curriculum, and trainings to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link(R) between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human and animal bond. American Humane's regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the "No Animals Were Harmed"(R) End Credit Disclaimer on TV and film productions, and American Humane's office in Washington, DC, is an advocate for child- and animal- friendly legislation at the state and federal levels. Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.
Source: PRNewswire, American Humane Association