Editorial: April 16, 2021
A prime example of one of those “see something, say something” moments: Around 2013, Marilyn Curry, delegate from the American Chinese Crested Club, saw something that she thought would be right for the American Kennel Club to get involved with. Little did she know that her vision would result in the creation of the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer program.
From her vision, a conversation took place at the June 2013 delegates meeting, and in the following months the AKC Reunite board put aside $250,000 for that program.
And so began the creation of the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer program. The first of these trailers was donated to Pamlico County in North Carolina. The 92nd trailer was recently donated to the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control & Rescue Center, just in time for the upcoming hurricane season.
With nearly half of the $22,000 price tag for each trailer given by the AKC Reunite Fund, the remaining monies are raised by national clubs and donations from the local area being served.
Each trailer comes equipped with non-perishable supplies that can be used as a temporary base for either an emergency or a lost and found site.
The most recent use was an emergency shelter set up to house dogs from a burning Queenstown, Maryland, shelter.
In its seven years, $2.3 million has been raised thanks to 435 AKC clubs and animal-loving individuals and companies.
Never more needed than today, with stronger hurricanes, tornados, flooding, fires and the like never seen before, these trailers have become lifesavers nationwide. There is a map available showing where the trailers are located. It can be viewed at www.akcreunite.org/map/.
The board of directors is chaired by an AKC board member; at present it’s Rita Biddle. But the real work is done by a dedicated staff lead by Tom Sharp, who is head of AKC Reunite, the country’s largest non-profit microchip identification and recovery service.
This is one of the finest examples of what the American Kennel Club is capable of doing, and should be supported and promoted by all of us in the purebred dog community.
Donations are welcome to keep this most worthy project well funded, so that they can continue to supply these trailers around the country where needed. For further information or to donate, contact Megan Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org