Following two national disasters that left hundreds of thousands of frightened, displaced pets, horses, and other living creatures, a gigantic gift promising safer, healthier, and happier lives for millions of animals in California and on the West Coast has rolled into Los Angeles.
American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the first to serve animals in disasters, now has a giant 50-foot-long emergency rescue vehicle designed to provide help and hope to California and the West Coast in times of disasters.
The lifesaving vehicle, which will be based in Los Angeles, was made possible thanks to a generous donation by internationally renowned philanthropist Lois Pope and is the third giant rescue truck she has underwritten for the organization. The other two vehicles cover the Northeast and Southeast U.S. regions.
Banfield Foundation also made a generous contribution to cover the operational and deployment costs for the fleet’s newest vehicle. Leading animal health company Zoetis has agreed to stock the truck with medical and veterinary supplies, as it does for all American Humane rescue vehicles.
The national American Humane Rescue program, which rescues and shelters animals in disasters and cruelty cases, began working in 1916, rescuing and caring for 68,000 war horses wounded each month on the battlefields of World War I, and has been part of every major disaster relief effort since, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, the Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes, Tennessee wildfires, Louisiana and West Virginia floods, and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“Los Angeles is one of the most populous areas in the country,” Pope said. “American Humane has worked right here to better the lives of animals for more than 75 years, and we are pleased to be able to take a giant step toward better protecting the creatures who live here. By investing in this new emergency vehicle, we may help keep more of our beloved animal friends safe.”
When not responding to disasters, the rescue vehicle and its staff will work to help animals caught in cruelty, dog-fighting, and hoarding cases, and serve as a traveling ambassador, bringing prevention and public education campaigns to schoolchildren and their communities.
“Banfield Foundation believes all pets deserve access to veterinary care, including those impacted by disasters,” said Executive Director Kim Van Syoc. “As a longtime supporter of American Humane, we are proud to partner once more to ensure pets on the West Coast receive the care they deserve, in the best and worst of times.”
The new rescue vehicle will go into disaster zones to do its lifesaving work emblazoned with giant images of past winners of the American Humane Hero Dog Awards and pets belonging to some of American Humane’s heroes — the top celebrity supporters of American Humane’s work, including among others: Lois Pope’s dog Patton, Candy Spelling’s dog Madison, N Sync singer Lance Bass’ pets Chip, Dale and Lucy, singer Katharine McPhee’s dogs Larry, Lady and Wilma, Beth Stern’s pets Charlie and Leon, Alison Sweeney’s Bean, Barbara Niven’s Pepper, Meggy and Lucy, and Adrienne Maloof’s Visco.
“This new rescue vehicle is a major investment in the safety and welfare of the animals of California and the Southwest,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert.
“The newest member of our American Humane Rescue fleet is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services and will be staffed by four certified and specially trained responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals. The vehicle will be dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire area.”
To learn more about American Humane or to support their lifesaving animal rescue efforts, please visit www.americanhumane.org or call (866) 242-1877.