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September 28, 2001

Animal Planet Rescue Dispatched to Aid Recovery Dog Teams in New York City


(SafetyAlerts) -  Animal Planet Rescue, an 80-foot mobile disaster relief vehicle complete with an emergency team, has been dispatched to New York City to support the ongoing efforts of recovery dog teams at the Staten Island landfill where workers are sifting through materials for evidence.

Since arriving in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 25, Animal Planet Rescue has served as the command post for the volunteer canine recovery teams Rescue International, which is coordinating volunteer canine recovery teams for the New York Police Department. The NYPD requested the use of the Animal Planet Rescue vehicle at the Staten Island landfill to provide shelter and veterinary care for the dogs.

Animal Planet Rescue is a coordinated partnership between the Animal Planet cable network and the American Humane Association (AHA) to provide disaster relief services to areas around the country in need of animal assistance.

According to Ben Drotar, who is leading Animal Planet Rescue's on-site emergency animal relief efforts in New York, Rescue International is using Animal Planet Rescue to coordinate all dispatches, communications and the overall relief efforts for the assigned recovery teams. The Animal Planet Rescue vehicle is equipped with a mobile vet clinic, specialized animal rescue equipment, rescue rafts and boats, as well as water tanks, animal feed and kennels and corrals to house rescued animals. In addition, this command center can house up to eight rescue personnel.

Currently, volunteers from law enforcement and search-and-rescue teams from across the country make up the canine recovery teams working at the Staten Island landfill site. A veterinarian is also already on board Animal Planet Rescue, providing medical care, stabilization and decontamination services to the recovery dogs while they are working the site.

"Animal Planet Rescue provides needed animal services and assistance to communities who have experienced major disasters. The recent tragedy in New York has affected the city and the entire nation in very profound ways and we wanted to contribute to the recovery effort in any way we could," said Michael Cascio, general manager and executive vice president, Animal Planet.

"We all need to do anything in our power to help the families affected by this tragedy," stated Dr. Lynn Anderson, vice-president, AHA's Animal Protection Services. "Our assistance is needed now and indefinitely, and we are committed to providing as much support to Rescue International and the NYPD as possible."

Source: PRNewswire.

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