Animal Rescue Trailers Will Help In Disaster Evacuations

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 3, 2013

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one of the new trailers
State officials display one of the new trailers in Trenton

First-responders in New Jersey are getting some animal rescue trailers to help with emergency evacuations.

Ocean, Burlington, and Hunterdon Counties are each getting a trailer equipped with cages that can transport and shelter 24 pets.

A $150,000 grant from the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness paid for the trailers that director Edward Dickson says should ease the concerns of people who don’t want to evacuate if they can’t take their pets with them.

“People will know if I have to evacuate and I have a pet that the resources are in place at the county level to meet my needs to get me and my pet to safety and therefore I won’t stay home and put myself in harm’s way.”

New Jersey State Police Major Patrick Callahan says that can avoid the need for rescue workers to put their own lives in jeopardy by trying to rescue the people and pets that didn’t leave.

“With an initiative and a program like this it alleviates all that. It gets both the people and their pets out of harm’s way and allows us to respond to the storm or disaster in a much more effective manner.”

State veterinarian Manoel Tamassia says the trailers will allow evacuees in shelters that don’t allow pets to be near their animals until they can return home.

“A trailer like this can be pulled up right in a parking lot. The animals are outside. You don’t need an extra large number of volunteers to maintain the shelter because the owners can come and take care of their own animals.”

Ken Mandoli is the coordinator of the Hunterdon County Animal Response Team. He says the trailers have a supply of water that can help livestock in emergencies.

 “Large need a lot of water to drink and what happened during Sandy a lot of these farmers lost power, which means they can’t run their wells. Our team was responsible for getting water out in cooperation with the fire departments to these farms. This is going to be a great asset to help us with that.”


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