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LDAF to Begin Construction on Second Mobile Pet Shelter
May 30, 2017
Baton Rouge, La. (May 30, 2017) – As hurricane season approaches, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is moving forward on a second mobile pet shelter for emergencies. This additional pet shelter is made possible through a $72,100 grant from the Banfield Foundation. The Banfield Foundation is the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospital, which recently launched a disaster relief grant program to ensure pets impacted by disasters receive the care they need.
The LDAF is designated by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act to evacuate, transport and shelter household pets during declared emergencies.
LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “We are appreciative of the Banfield Foundation’s grant which will assist in our efforts to co-locate people and their pets during evacuations. When sheltering evacuees, having a place to co-locate their pets is a source of comfort for them knowing their pets are safe, secure and located nearby.” Strain added, “The evacuation, transportation and sheltering of household pets during disasters has proven to become necessary as a lifesaving measure. In the past, victims have refused assistance unless their pets were accommodated.”
“Last year, we saw first-hand the devastating impact of the floods in Louisiana, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry on this effort to ensure more pets can be protected in the future,” said Marta Monetti, president and chairman of the Banfield Foundation Board of Directors. “We understand the deep connection between pets and their owners, and are glad to know that this partnership will keep more of them together during disaster responses.”
The second LDAF mobile pet shelter will be constructed similarly to the first one which was rolled out during the 2015 hurricane season. It will consist of a 45 foot transport truck with 54 assembled pet cages and staff to assist parishes with the evacuation, transportation and sheltering of evacuees’ pets. It will be equipped with metal cages, feed, water bowls and a wash down system. It will have an air ventilation system to provide proper air circulation and temperature for the pets.
The first mobile pet shelter was used during the Great Flood in August of 2016. It is also used in training and at public outreach events.
In all, the LDAF can accommodate up to 3,000 pets at established mega pet shelters. The mobile pet shelter is primarily used when no-notice events, such as the August 2016 flood, occur where pet sheltering facilities are not available. It can also be used in search and rescue missions and will be available, upon request, to other states during a disaster.
The LDAF’s second mobile pet shelter is scheduled to be ready for use by August 2017 which is peak hurricane season. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30.