American Humane Association Reveals New Animal Rescue Vehicle for Northeastern U.S.
A gigantic holiday gift promising a healthier, happier and safer New Year for the animals of the Northeast rolled into town today to gasps of curiosity, amazement - and most especially, relief - of onlookers.
One year after Hurricane Sandy, American Humane Association, the country's first national humanitarian organization, unveiled a giant 50-foot-long emergency rescue vehicle designed to provide help and hope to the Northeastern U.S. in times of disasters. Made possible through the generous support of philanthropist Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital, Zoetis, and other major donors, the truck is the latest
addition to American Humane Association's historic Red Star™ emergency services program, which rescues and shelters animals in crises, and provides animal-assisted therapy to children and families following traumatic events. The program began in World War I by saving wounded horses and has been part of every major disaster relief effort since, from Pearl Harbor to Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma tornado, the Colorado floods, 9/11, and Superstorm Sandy. This major investment in the safety of those living in the Northeast was announced in a special ceremony during the New York Stock Exchange closing bell by American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, top executives
from Banfield Pet Hospital and Zoetis, and more than 40 of the nation's top philanthropists and corporate and foundation executives.
"This new rescue vehicle is a major investment in the families, children and animals of the Northeast," said Dr. Ganzert. "The newest member of our Red Star rescue fleet is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services and will be staffed by four certified and specially trained
responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals, and bringing animal-assisted therapy to children and families. The vehicle will be dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire Northeast area. This strengthening of our nation's emergency operations is a gift to all those who live here, and we thank Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital, Zoetis, and the other major donors in this effort who care about the most vulnerable in times of need."
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, American Humane Association delivered tens of thousands of pounds of emergency food, medicines and supplies to help animals and provided shelter services, which can save human lives since many families will not leave a disaster zone without their beloved companion animals,
exposing everyone to danger. American Humane Association is also a leader in providing animal-assisted therapy to children and families experiencing crises, medical illnesses, deployments of their parents during military duty, and other challenges. Earlier this year, American Humane Association's animal-assisted therapy team worked to help bring calm and healing to the people of Boston following the marathon terror bombings there.
"The Northeast is the most populous area in the country," says philanthropist and American Humane Association Board Member Lois Pope, who provided the lead funding for the new emergency vehicle and has financed other major additions to the fleet in regions the country. "American Humane Association has deployed many times to help during crises and we are pleased to be able to take a step toward better protecting the families, kids and more than 30 million animals who found themselves in the path last year of Hurricane Sandy. We saw the toll the storm took on the Northeast last year and wanted to make a difference. By investing in this new emergency vehicle, we may help keep more families safer during the next disaster."
"The addition of this new vehicle will strengthen our ability to respond to disasters and help alleviate the suffering for more of our most vulnerable when crises strike," says American Humane Association chair John B. Payne. "We are very proud of American Humane Association's century-plus of ongoing work to provide lifesaving rescue services following hurricanes, floods, and other crises."
"As a practice, we provide exceptionAl Veterinary care to companion animals and this is brought to life every day through our ongoing commitment to preventive care," said Tony Ueber, president and CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital. "Helping to provide care and shelter to pets during disaster not only helps us live our mission but gives families peace of mind, which is essential in times of crisis. By sponsoring this new vehicle,we'll help American Humane Association continue their lifesaving rescue services in the northeast, ensuring pets and families receive support when it's most needed."
"Zoetis was heavily involved with American Humane Association and its Red Star rescue efforts during Hurricane Sandy last year, providing vital medicines to save lives," says Dr. Michael McFarland, Group
Director of Companion AnimAl Veterinary Operations for Zoetis. "By enhancing the emergency response capability of the Northeast, we hope to protect many more when major storms and other dangerous occurrences inevitably strike."
More than 40 VIPs attended the dedication during the ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, including American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert; philanthropist and board member Lois Pope; American Humane Association Board Chair John Payne with Nancy Payne; board members Amanda Bowman, Mike McFarland, Candy Spelling, Elizabeth Lyman, and Lois Pope; VIPs Brandy Austin, Kimball Carr, Maude Cook, William Davis, Karen Fleming, Pierre France, Aidan Ganzert, Bartlett Ganzert, Daisy Ganzert (dog), Jocelyn Ganzert, Robert Ganzert, Kim Koenig, Christine Jenkins, David Levy, Mel Lyman, Dr. Robert Mackler, Robert Miller, Patrick Park, Frank Pilotte and Bjaye
Pilotte, Ari Rifkin, Joseph Rossi and Annjenette Rossi, Kira Levy Shaw, Liliana Shaw, and Imogen Shaw, Anthony Taibi and Julian Taibi; and American Humane Association's Chief Philanthropy and Marketing Officer Mary Kay Phelps, National Director of Emergency Services JustinScally, and Presidential Aide Jill Nizan.