From Harford County government:
The Harford County Department of Emergency Services has obtained another tool to support disaster relief and recovery efforts during severe weather events and other natural disasters. Partnering with the American Kennel Club and AKC Reunite, the Department of Emergency Services has placed into service a special trailer equipped to assist pet owners with disaster relief.
Officials with the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club presented the trailer to Director of Administration Mary Chance and Russell J. Strickland, Director of the Department of Emergency Services during a brief ceremony at the DES facility near Forest Hill.
The AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer is equipped with essential non-perishable necessities for sheltering pets. The AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer will support the local efforts of the Harford County Department of Emergency Services, Emergency Management Branch and Harford County Animal Control during the critical period following a disaster.
Approximately $9,500 was donated by the Harford County Department of Emergency Services to assist with the purchase of the vehicle and supplies. The funds were made possible by a grant from the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).
The AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer has interior lighting and is wired for electricity to operate from either a generator or 110v power supply. Additionally, the trailer contents includes a variety of maintenance equipment, gas can, and duct tape; various animal care items to include crates on rolling dollies for easy set-up, cat carriers, bowls, collars and leashes. Other supplies include cleaning supplies, such as mops, tarps, litter boxes, disinfectants and more.
The genesis for the Pet Disaster Relief Trailer initiative was in response to Hurricane Katrina where many people stayed in harm’s way because emergency response and recovery plans did not accommodate pets.
Commenting on the recent addition to the resources available to the Department of Emergency Services, Director Strickland said, “To obtain and place in service this unit has been a true example of partnership between government, non-profit and civic organizations. We are proud to serve as the home for the Pet Disaster Relief Trailer and are now better equipped to meet the challenges of natural disasters that may impact our area, especially those with pets,” Strickland added.
Mary Lou Olszewski of the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club said, “Members of the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club wanted to give back to our community and make it easier for Harford County Emergency Services and Animal Control to help pet owners in times of a disaster. This AKC Reunite Pet Disaster Relief Trailer is more than a trailer it is truly a lifesaving resource.”
The Cecil County Department of Emergency Services also recently received a Pet Disaster Relief Trailer in cooperation with the American Kennel Club, AKC Reunite and the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club. The Cecil County Pet Disaster Relief Trailer was placed into service in mid-May.
The Pet Disaster Relief Trailer will be stationed at the DES facility near Forest Hill and will be available for service as necessary.