Will County has just acquired a new American Kennel Club (AKC) Pet Disaster Relief trailer. The county received the trailer thanks to the national AKC Pet Disaster Relief program and local AKC dog clubs. The AKC Pet Disaster Relief program is a national program that helps to make sure communities are prepared to keep their animals safe in the aftermath of natural disasters. More than $22,000 in donations and grants helped to purchase the trailer. The trailer will be used to create a safe, temporary home for up to 65 pets after a disaster. The trailer will have essential animal care items like crates, carriers, microchips and other supplies. There will also be cleaning supplies in the trailer and the supplies can be used at emergency animal shelters.
Harold Damron, the Will County EMA director, Larry Walsh Sr., Will County Executive and representatives from local dog clubs unveiled the trailer last week. Allison Anderson, the Will County Emergency Management Agency planning and exercise officer, stated, “We hope to never use it, but it’s there if we need it.” Damron said that not only does the Will County EMA need to be prepared, but the public needs to be prepared as well. “Pet preparedness – being ready to take care of our animals – is a challenge that’s been more and more important over the last few years,” Damron stated. He continued, “Disaster relief takes more than facilities and equipment – it also requires people to make it happen.”