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Portland-area animal shelters acquire vital disaster response equipment

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Randy Covey, animal services field supervisor with the Animal Multi-Agency Coordination Group, shows off one of four large animal transport trailers recently purchased to use in emergency response situations across the Portland area.The next time tragedy strikes, animal rescuers across the Portland area will be ready.

Animal rescuers from across the region have pooled resources to purchase four large animal transport trailers for use in emergency response situations.

The acquisition came in response to the recent earthquakes in Sherwood earlier this month, said Randy Covey, who represents the Animal Multi-Agency Coordination Group at the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization, which includes area law enforcement, fire and rescue, public works, public health and other emergency responders.

“We know that people will stay behind in dangerous situations if their pets can’t come with them,” Covey said. “People have put their own lives at risk or even died because they wanted to stay with their animals. This was especially true during Hurricane Katrina because sadly, there was no plan for evacuation of animals at that time.”

The trailers are staged in strategic locations across the Portland area, Covey said, and can be deployed for any animal emergency.

“Now animal responders across the five metro counties (Clark, Clackamas, Multnomah, Columbia and Washington counties) will be equipped to assist with livestock or large volumes of domesticated pets by sharing these and other animal-related rescue and evacuation resources,” Covey said.

The trailers were purchased with $45,523 in federal grants through the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization. Covey also urged people to take steps on their own for emergency preparedness for their animals.

Tips on preparing for emergencies, including a list of suggested supplies to have on hand, can be found at the county's Disaster Preparedness website.



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