N.C. pets ready in case of disaster

by | Nov 1, 2013

Pictured: Patrick and Almira Dallas of the Forsyth Kennel Club; Dallas Harsa of AKC Reunite; Bill Gentry, UNC School of Public Health; Mike Sprayberry, director of the N.C. Emergency Management; Chris Murray of Pamlico County Emergency Management; Ellis Boyle, deputy secretary at the NC Department of Public Safety; Sharron Stewart, director of the NCDA&CS Emergency Programs Division; Chester Lowder of the NC Farm Bureau and NC SART; and Dr. Mike Yoder from N.C. State University.

Earlier this week, Emergency Programs Director Sharron Stewart was on hand when the AKC Pet Disaster Relief program made a special presentation to Pamlico County Emergency Management. Pamlico County became the first in the country to receive an AKC Pet Relief Trailer, which holds supplies for at least 50 pets in the aftermath of a disaster or emergency. The trailer was made possible by donations and grants from AKC Reunite and clubs associated with the American Kennel Club.

“We are excited to be a part of N.C. Emergency Management’s evacuation efforts and this new venture with the American Kennel Club to assist communities on a national scale,” Stewart told the gathered crowd.

The AKC trailer marks the 46th trailer to be stationed in North Carolina. It is based off the Companion Animal Mobile Equipment Trailers, or CAMETs, created by the NCDA&CS Emergency Programs Division after several hurricanes taxed local animal control agencies. The trailers are equipped with crates, bowls, cleaning supplies, a generator, administrative supplies and other materials needed to run an emergency animal shelter. It does not include perishable items such as food and medicine. 

“We’re proud to kick off this program in North Carolina, the home state of AKC Reunite, and look forward to expanding the program across the U.S. to help as many pets and owners as possible,” said AKC Reunite CEO Tom Sharp. “The beauty of successful public/private partnerships like AKC Pet Disaster Relief is that it can help states and counties prepare for disaster without taxpayer dollars.”

The AKC Pet Disaster Relief program is a nationwide grant program and AKC clubs are encouraged to work with their local emergency management officials to apply for a trailer. Federal law requires municipalities to prepare and care for pets during disasters. In addition to the trailer design, North Carolina is providing online training material to help communities learn how to use the trailers. Training ranges from how-to set up an emergency pet shelter, check-in pets, train and mobilize volunteers, and how-to decontaminate and replenish the trailer after it is deployed.

For more about the CAMETS and pet disaster relief, see these blog posts: