County gets pet disaster relief trailer

County gets pet disaster relief trailer Main Photo

24 Apr 2022

Guadalupe County, News

Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette

When a tornado slammed into parts of Guadalupe County, emergency management personnel weren’t completely prepared to help animals affected by the storms, but that is changing.

The county’s emergency management department recently received a donated Pet Disaster Relief trailer to assist in the sheltering of pets during disasters, said Patrick Pinder, Guadalupe County emergency management coordinator.

“In the last event, if there would’ve been a need for sheltering of animals, if we would’ve had this trailer, we could’ve utilized it in the Kingsbury area to provide assistance to the homeowners for temporary housing or shelter of those animals while they tried to initiate the recovery process during the disaster,” he said. “The trailer and all its contents were made possible by donations.”

A major donation came through the American Kennel Club and its AKC Reunite, a nonprofit pet identification and recovery service provider. AKC Reunite’s donation will allow local emergency responders to dispatch to a disaster area where pets are in need, according to a news release from the nonprofit.

Guadalupe County received the trailer April 5, a couple weeks after a tornado touched down in the community. The trailer will help with pets that are displaced by that storm or others to come.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief is a nationwide program sponsored by AKC Reunite, which provides microchip identification and recovery service.

“This is the 96th trailer donated through our AKC Reunite Pet Disaster Relief program,” AKC Reunite CEO Tom Sharp said. “With the donation of this trailer, many displaced pets can be cared for during their time of need. We are happy to be a resource in Guadalupe County’s recovery efforts and to be able to help make a difficult time a little easier.”

Guadalupe County is in the process of hammering out policies and procedures regarding deployment of the trailer, Pinder said.

Once completed, rules will dictate how and when the trailer travels to affected areas to help in jurisdictions across the region, he said.

It will help residents concerned about their animals’ wellbeing during emergencies, Pinder said.

“The intent of the AKC Disaster Relief trailer would be to supply an animal shelter need for homeowners during a disaster for jurisdictions that have a shelter set up for people,” he said. “We need to also ensure we take care of animals. This trailer would be sent to those shelter locations and set up so community members would have access to their animals while they’re in a shelter during a disaster.”

Many times during disasters, shelters are only equipped to help humans seeking assistance, Pinder said. Service animals usually are the only non-humans allowed inside such places, he said.

The pet disaster relief trailer allows his agency to help provide kennels, food, animal microchipping, microchip scanning and more, Pinder said.

AKC Reunite donated the trailer equipped with leashes, bowls, a generator, cleaning supplies, lights, a pressure washer and other useful items, the emergency management coordinator said.

It all is expected to help create a safe, temporary base for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared, the AKC Reunite statement read.

AKC Reunite partners with American Kennel Club dog clubs to make such donations, it read. Members of the American Kennel Club’s Alamo Brittany Club brought Guadalupe County’s need for such a trailer to the forefront and allowed it to come here, Pinder said.

“This trailer will be an awesome resource for Guadalupe County Emergency Management when our neighbors are in need,” said Niclaus Taula’i, agility chair for the Alamo Brittany Club. “Before Hurricane Harvey in 2017, we did not know about the pet disaster relief trailer program, but seeing those trailers deployed lit a fire under us to bring that resource to South Central Texas. Our area recently experienced a tornado outbreak and thankfully the damage was not more widespread. In the future, this trailer will help our community partners step in and provide some peace of mind for our neighbors in need.”

Texas only has about seven other trailers in operation, Pinder said. There are a couple around the Dallas area, one in Bastrop, one in Beaumont and a few around the Houston area, according to the American Kennel Club’s website.

“When the Alamo Brittany Club approached Guadalupe County Emergency Management about the AKC Reunite trailer, we were excited to support this and provide this resource to the community,” Pinder said. “Through our partnership with Guadalupe County animal rescue groups, we will be able to staff the disaster relief trailer and make it available during a time of need.”

View artilce on