Construction Set Next Month On Mobile Pet Shelter

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Construction is expected to begin in December on a mobile pet shelter that will be ready for use by the 2015 hurricane season.

         Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain said the $80,000 project is being paid for through a private donation and funds from his department. A $40,000 donation came from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Dr. Walter J. Ernst Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation and Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association.

         The project will include a tractor-trailer that will have a 60-pet capacity, Strain said. The trailer will be equipped with metal cages, feed, water bowls and a wash down system. It also will have an air ventilation system and be used in search and rescue missions.

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         "The benefit of a mobile pet shelter is immediate onsite sheltering and care of pets affected by a disaster, the ease of safe transport of pets, reduced expense of sheltering and care and the ability to relocate quickly to be co-located with pet owners," Strain said.

         "What we have experienced in the past are victims who have refused assistance unless their pets were accommodated," he said.

         Strain's department is designated by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act to evacuate, transport and shelter household pets during declared emergencies.

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