AKC Reunite, a non-profit pet identification and recovery service provider, is equipping Ocean County with an AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer that will be available to dispatch to any disaster scene that needs assistance sheltering pets.

The AKC Pet Disaster Relief program trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared.

“This is the 76th trailer (across the United States) donated through the AKC Pet Disaster Relief program. The trailer will provide critical resources to help the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office quickly assist its community when responding to natural disasters,” Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO, said. “Safe, effective pet sheltering solutions are important following a disaster, and we are pleased that an AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer will be available to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office as a vital tool.”

If a disaster were to strike in Ocean County, Sharp says pet owners would be at ease knowing that their dogs and cats are being well taken care of.

"They don't have to worry about leaving their pet at home or wonder what they're going to do, they can load their pets up in the car with them when they need to evacuate and know that they're going to be able to find a place that will care for their pets," Sharp said.

Whether it's an apartment fire or a major storm, these pet disaster relief trailers create a safe home-base for 65 pets during the first 72-hours following a disaster.

As people are evacuating these trailers come in to pick up their pets and bring them to a safe location.

"We have seen them used for an apartment fire where you have to evacuate a lot of residents on very short notice and many of those residents may have pets and nowhere to take those pets," Sharp said. "In very short notice you can hook the trailer up to a truck and drive it to wherever you need it and unload the equipment and you're ready to house those pets with their owners right beside them."

Sharp says these trailers are used in conjunction with the Red Cross who will help shelter people while an AKC trailer can be close by with their pets in a community center or a school.

While the Red Cross will step in during a disaster and help shelter people at a school or a community center, an AKC trailer can be close by with their pets.

"They might have the people on cots in the gymnasium and then you can use the crates to set up the shelter for the pets," Sharp said.

He trailers include essential animal care items including carriers, collars and crates.

"The crates help to keep the animals safe and sound and then you have volunteers come around and put the animal on a leash and take it out for a walk," Sharp said.

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 a generator, 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.

The purchase of the trailer now in Ocean County was made possible by a $100,000 donation from the Kennel Club of Philadelphia earlier this year.

“We are beyond grateful to AKC Reunite and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia for providing us with this life-saving tool for our community,” Kevin Cooney of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office said. “Our department is now better equipped to help pets and pet owners in the case of a disaster."

AKC Reunite, an affiliate of the American Kennel Club®, is the largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service provider in the United States.

For more information visit www.akcreunite.org.

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