When a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes, many are affected by the destruction. Homes are destroyed leaving people homeless with no where to go, and that includes pets. While there are shelters and an out-pour of assistance for those devastated by a hurricane, sometimes it’s the pets that go unnoticed. This year, Houston is prepared!
Kennel clubs sponsoring the Houston World Series of Dog Shows are teaming up with AKC Reunite to put four disaster-relief trailers in place to provide immediate protection for Houston-area pets separated from their owners by natural disasters. First responders will use the trailers to house displaced animals at the onset of hurricanes, floods or tornados. Two disaster-relief trailers, each with a 250-animal capacity, will serve the City of Houston. Currently, more than 60 AKC Reunite disaster trailers are in use throughout the US with 30 more on order.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said the kennel clubs have provided a valuable resource for officials to use during a disaster. “I commend the Houston Kennel Club’s dedication to assisting our area’s pets during a crisis,” Emmett said. “Recent events have taught us that we are stronger when we work together, and these new disaster trailers will provide valuable support to Harris County.”
City or county animal control officials will manage and deploy the trailers during a disaster while Houston, Galveston and Beaumont kennel clubs stock them with food and first aid supplies. The trailers provide lost pets not only temporary shelter but also emergency aid from local animal healthcare providers. Each trailer has lighting, is wired for electricity and can run on an independent generator, if necessary.
“After Hurricane Harvey, our kennel club members were determined to take definitive action to protect Houston-area pets in the next disaster,” said Tom Pincus, president of the Houston Kennel Club and Show Chairman for the Houston World Series of Dog Shows. “Last year, more than 500 animals were displaced. This year, qualified individuals standing will have safe, mobile shelters in place even before local rescues and agencies such as FEMA can move in.”
The Houston World Series of Dog Shows is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club and supervised by Onofrio Dog Shows. During five days, the shows typically attract more than 40,000 spectators and participants and 14,000 entries. The series’ main sponsor is Purina® Dog Food, makers of Purina® Pro Plan® dog food. See www.houstondogshows.com for additional information.