New York, NY - The worst wildfire in California's history created an immediate and intense need for pets, livestock and wild animals to be sheltered and rescued. Animals were being turned in by displaced families or by individuals who rescued wandering animals who had been left behind by residents, and others were victims of injuries caused by the fire and needed emergency veterinary care for burns or smoke inhalation.
Soon after the fires began making national headlines, we knew that the AKC needed to get involved. I contacted our associates at Iams, Hartz and Cherrybrook who all agreed to help by providing the items needed. We then identified local animal shelters and animal control agencies involved with the rescue of animals that had been displaced and offered them assistance in the form of donations including crates, containment pens, AKC-CAR donated microchips and scanners, food and other medical and non-medical supplies.
In order to deal with the urgent requests, the AKC designated and maintained a 24-hour 800 number and an email address (800-252-7894 or email@example.com) to receive inquires and requests for assistance.
In the generous spirit that can always be counted on from our family of fanciers, many of you contacted me wanting to know how to help. We have since received offers of various supplies from clubs and individuals and donations to the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief fund. The fund will also be boosted by the proceeds from our first AKC/Eukanuba National Championship commemorative poster competition. The winning submission, painted by fancier Dawn Secord--depicting a puppy in a trophy cup--was selected from over 100 works of art, and will be available for $15 at this year's show in Long Beach, CA as well as through our web site.
Additionally, we have pledged to provide assistance to those who have lost their AKC paperwork including registration certificates, DNA certificates and pedigrees, as a result of the fires. AKC Customer Service will work with our fanciers and pet owners to reissue any lost documentation.
Of course we will continue to raise funds for disaster relief through the fund, so that resources are available in the years to come. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution you may do so online at akc.org or by mailing your donation to the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund, The American Kennel Club, 260 Madison Avenue- 4th floor, New York, NY 10016-2401.
We can all be proud of the role that the AKC, its partners and the fancy played in this tragic event. It was a team effort and I thank everyone for their concern and assistance!