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AKC Companion Animal Recovery Donates Nearly $400,000 To Date in 2010

(Tuesday, July 13, 2010)

--Disaster Preparedness Contributions to Benefit
Organizations Across the Country--

Throughout the first half of 2010, the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) Canine Support and Relief Fund has donated nearly $400,000 to organizations across the nation, including CAMET trailers to Delaware and Vermont and more than $215,000 in grants to Search and Rescue organizations for equipment and preparedness training.

AKC and AKC CAR established the Canine Support and Relief Fund in the aftermath of September 11th in 2001. Since its creation, the Fund has contributed almost $3 million and has provided support, resources and other assistance to non-profit canine search and rescue organizations, not-profit veterinary units supporting canine rescue teams and not-for-profit animal shelters and other organizations that provide care for companion animals in the event of natural or civil disaster.

"AKC CAR is very pleased to administer the Canine Support and Relief Fund and to provide resources that will directly impact America’s pets in times of disaster," said Tom Sharp, AKC Companion Animal Recovery CEO. "The support of donors makes this possible, and allows us to carry on our mission of promoting permanent identification of pets, reuniting lost pets with their owners, and giving back to the community."

AKC CAR’s most recent donation of $17,500 each to the state of Delaware’s Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. and to the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) enables both organizations to acquire CAMET (Companion Animal Mobile Equipment Trailer) units, which will aid in state preparedness. CAMET units are supplied to organizations by the North Carolina State Animal Response Team (NC SART) which AKC CAR has worked with over the years on other similar donations. The trailers provide immediate shelter when disaster strikes and contain items such as crates, a generator, first aid kits, a pressure washer, power cords, animal ID bands, dog bowls and more. Once unloaded, the trailer also serves as a local command center.

"Vermont is grateful to the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery for providing the funding needed for purchase of a CAMET by the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART, Inc)," said Dr. Kristin Haas, State Veterinarian. "As a result of this kind donation, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture and VDART, Inc. will be better prepared to effectively meet the animal emergency response challenges that arise during any disaster event.  On behalf of the 75% of Vermont residents who own pets, I would like to extend my appreciation to the AKC CAR for this gift to our state."

"We’re overwhelmed at the gift of this trailer," said Murrey Goldthwaite, Executive Director of the Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. and Delaware Animal Care and Control. "We are the animal control response for the entire state of Delaware and since we’re located in the middle, our group gets pulled in many different directions. The trailer will allow us to respond to disaster without taking resources away from our shelter."

In addition to the CAMET trailers, another state in the area – Massachusetts – also received a $5,000 disaster preparedness grant to specifically address evacuation needs on Cape Cod. The State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) will spearhead that effort.

"On behalf of the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART), I would like to thank AKC CAR for their generous donation," said David Schwarz D.V.M., President of SMART.  "It is well known that people will not evacuate their homes and go to a shelter unless they know they can bring their pets and that those pets will be cared for and returned to them.  This grant will help us buy the necessary supplies so we can meet the demand of housing animals during a disaster and also allow us to facilitate emergency response and ensure public safety."

In addition to disaster preparedness and relief donations, notable Search and Rescue contributions in 2010 include a $25,000 donation to the United States Police Canine Association (Region 7) – in honor of the NYPD K-9 teams that assisted with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti – which will enhance ongoing SAR education of law enforcement K-9s and their handlers. A grant given to the National Search Dog Alliance in Houston, Texas, will help subsidize costs of training seminars, while S.T.R.I.K.E. in West Milton, Pennsylvania, has used their funds to purchase supplies such as search and rescue vests and GPS equipment.

To learn more about the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund or how you can make a donation or request a grant application, visit http://www.akccar.org/givingback/

For tips on disaster preparedness from AKC and AKC CAR, visit http://www.akc.org/news/disaster_preparedness/

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