Somerset 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.
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 an emergency trailer to officials from the Somerset County Animal Response Team (CART) in a ceremony held yesterday.
The Somerset CART trailer is the 50th AKC Pet Disaster Relief rolled out nationwide and the third to serve New Jersey. AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers are also located in Morris and Bergen counties.
AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets immediately after a disaster is declared. The trailers house and deliver essential animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, bowls, collars and leashes as well as fans, lighting and 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.
“This trailer will provide animal care sheltering supplies during the first critical hours after a disaster hits Somerset County or the surrounding areas,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO. “Safe, effective pet sheltering solutions in times of disaster are incredibly important, and AKC Reunite is pleased to help communities across the nation prepare by mobilizing AKC Pet Disaster Relief.”
“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 Somerset CART to assist in their future disaster response efforts.”
The purchase of the trailer was made possible by more than $22,000 in donations and grants from the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, Sussex Hills Kennel Club, the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, the Garden State Golden Retriever Club, the Northern NJ Great Dane Club, the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee, Animerge PC and AKC Reunite, the nation’s largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service.
“Thank you to these AKC dog clubs and AKC Reunite for helping us to obtain such a valuable tool that will allow our agency to ensure the safety of our pets during any future disasters,” said Kenneth Otrimski, Deputy Coordinator Somerset County Emergency Management.
“Our New Jersey dog clubs are dedicated to giving back and helping the pets loved by those in the community. We’re very proud to help bring an AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer to Somerset County,” said Wayne Ferguson, president of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club. “It is our hope it will provide meaningful support during difficult times of disaster.”
Learn more about how to get involved in AKC Pet Disaster Relief.