Volunteers Needed for Dog Emergency Exercise

As part of PetSmart’s Relief Waggin’ program, volunteers will learn how to help dogs during emergencies.

Qualified volunteers are needed in Florida to participate in a multiple-day training exercise for a program that serves pets during disasters.

On May 30, PetSmart Charities kicked off a three-day training exercise for its Emergency Relief Waggin’ program in St. Petersburg to better serve pet victims in disasters. Training continues from 2 to 4 p.m. tomorrow, June 1, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Sat., June 2.

Interested parties must have prior training in the National Incident Management System and will be trained to unload items from the Relief Waggin’, learn how to operate a manual pallet jack, set up large tents, hook up and run a generator, and coordinate supplies to support an emergency rescue facility.

The Emergency Relief Waggin’ program, which was launched by PetSmart Charities in March, consists of six pre-loaded semi-trailers that are stationed at PetSmart distribution centers throughout the U.S.

Each pre-loaded trailer carries crates, bowls, leashes, collars, litter, food, tents, fans, a generator, and various other emergency supplies. When called to duty, each Waggin’ will deliver its supplies as soon as transport logistics can be completed to the designated lead animal welfare agency responding to the disaster.

The program can be activated at a moment’s notice for natural disasters, and hoarding or cruelty cases affecting 350 pets or more.

The exercise is taking place at the Tradewinds Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla. To apply to become a volunteer for the program, e-mail Laurel Ley of Healing HEART Sanctuary at LaurelLey@AnimalReliefResource.org.

For more information about PetSmart Charities, visit http://www.petsmartcharities.org or call (800) 423-PETS.

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