N.J. gets trailers to shelter pets during disasters

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

 

Ocean, Burlington, and Hunterdon counties each will get 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. They should ease the concerns of people who don’t want to evacuate if they can’t take their pets with them, said Edward Dickson, director.

“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,” he said Thursday. “And, therefore, I won’t stay home and put myself in harm’s way.”

They could also alleviate the need for rescue workers to put their own lives in jeopardy by trying to rescue the people and pets who didn’t leave, Dickson said.

The trailers can be set next to emergency shelters that don’t allow animals, officials said, so evacuees can be close to their pets until they can return home.

“A trailer like this can be pulled up right in a parking lot,” said state veterinarian Manoel Tamassia . “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.”

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