The Phoenix-based Emergency Relief Waggin’ arrived last Saturday loaded with pet supplies for rescued dogs and cats. Over 500 animals are currently in temporary accommodation at a high school in Oroville and a church in Chico. The delivery follows a request from Butte County Animal Control in Northern California. It is estimated there are 76 square miles of wildfires in Butte County alone.
"We received a request for assistance from Butte County Animal Control in northern California, where two temporary shelters have already been set up to house hundreds of companion animals evacuated because of the fires," said Susana Della Maddalena, Vice President and Executive Director of PetSmart Charities. "Disaster situations such as this one are the very reason that we created our Emergency Relief Waggin’ program in 2007. Its purpose is to assist the animal victims of natural and manmade disasters."
"Many of these animals evacuated with their families at a moment’s notice, so the need for items such as bowls, bedding, crates, leashes, litterboxes, kitty litter and other basic supplies is great," Della Maddalena added. "In addition, the Emergency Relief Waggin’ has supplies on board that will assist the human responders in operating the temporary animal shelters, including an air conditioning unit, a generator and lights."
In 2007, PetSmart Charities donated a total of $300,000 in funding and supplies to assist with natural disasters and cruelty cases. The charity claims to have saved over 3 million dogs and cats from death by natural disaster or from euthanasia.