OCEAN COUNTY — According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over a third of US households are also home to a furry companion. In Ocean County, many local families have dogs or cats they consider part of the family.
In an effort to service both humans and animals in the event of an emergency, Ocean County has become the newest member of the AKC Pet Disaster Relief program.
AKC Reunite is the largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service provider in the United States. Their national program, AKC Pet Disaster Relief, is dedicated to keeping pets and their owners safe in response to natural or civil disasters.
In collaboration with local American Kennel Club dog clubs and dog lovers, AKC Reunite presented an emergency trailer to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office. The AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer will be available to dispatch to any disaster scene that needs assistance sheltering pets.
“We are beyond grateful to AKC Reunite and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia for providing us with this life-saving tool for our community,” said Kevin Cooney of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office. “Our department is now better equipped to help pets and pet owners in the case of a disaster.”
In the event of an emergency, the AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers create a safe, temporary home for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared. Inside the trailers you will find essential animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips, an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, bowls, collars, leashes, 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.
“This is the 76th trailer 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,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO. “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.”
A generous donation of $100,000, courtesy of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, funded the purchase of the OCSD’s new trailer. While Ocean County was the first, the donations funds will continue to provide trailers to eight other counties throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“Our association is thrilled to be able to bring such an important resource like the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office,” said Wayne Ferguson, President of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. “The trailer will help the organization assist their community in times of disaster”.
For more information about AKC Pet Disaster Relief, visit akcreunite.org/relief.