MAHWAH, New Jersey -- The American Kennel Club (AKC), a non-profit that promotes responsible dog ownership, is working with local municipalities to ensure no pet is displaced by wildfires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
Through the deployment of Pet Disaster Relief trailers, which can accommodate up to 65 pets, local emergency management teams can now provide sheltering and care for pets in need.
Equipped with a generator and a variety of pet essentials, these disaster relief trailers address the issue many pet owners encounter during evacuations when temporary shelters don't allow them in with animals.
"The common response is: "I'm not leaving my pet behind they're my family. So after that, the AKC looked at it and said: "How can we help?" said Jeffrey Ball, the president of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs.
The trailers, which are not intended for long-term shelter, carry the necessary equipment that volunteers need to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of all pets until they can safely be reunited with their owners.
"When a natural disaster occurs there's going to be a lot of things you need to care for your animal. So to have something like this available is a great concept and I'm glad we're involved in it," said Sheriff Anthony Cureton of the Bergen County Sheriff's Office.
Even though the program has been established to help anyone who needs assistance, Ball recommends that all pet families have an emergency plan before a disaster strikes.
"The trailer is great but everyone can help themselves by being better prepared for these types of disasters which are going to occur," said Ball.
Contact Community Journalist Miguel Amaya