New Vehicle Expands Legendary Red Star Animal Emergency Services Program to South Florida
PALM BEACH, FL, April 3, 2013 – Ford advertises that its trucks are “tough.” And thanks to prominent Florida philanthropist Lois Pope and American Humane Association, there’s a new Ford truck in town that may be the toughest yet. In fact, it’s tough enough for dozens of dogs, cats, and other domesticated and wild animals in need of emergency rescue, medical, and shelter services.
Indeed, in a ceremony today at noon in Palm Beach, Florida, American Humane Association dedicated the Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicle. The 30,000-pound, 50-foot long Ford F-350 with trailer, bearing the legendary logo of American Humane Association’s Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services on a white background painted with pictures of animals, as well as Mrs. Pope’s name, is specifically-designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services, particularly in the immediate aftermath of such disasters as hurricanes and tornadoes.
The vehicle, which will be manned by four certified and specially trained responders, carries supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals. The vehicle, based at American Humane Association’s new Palm Beach office, will also be used as a mobile site to conduct humane education and animal cruelty seizures in South Florida.
Mrs. Pope, founder and chair of the Delray Beach-based Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., made contributions totaling nearly $100,000 for the vehicle and to expand American Humane Association’s renowned Red Star Animal Emergency Services efforts in South Florida. The funding was made in the form of matching gifts to American Humane Association through both Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. campaign and TV legend and longtime supporter Betty White.
“Our region is particularly prone to such disasters, and amid all the turmoil of these emergencies, the safety and care of dogs, cats, and other domesticated and wild animals might sometimes be overlooked as families struggle for survival,” Mrs. Pope said. “We need to make sure they are not forgotten, that they are cared for with great comfort, compassion, and expertise. That is the hallmark of the Red Star program and why I’m honored to be a partner in these efforts.”
“Lois Pope is a true champion of animals in need,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “She is unwavering in her compassion and commitment to protecting them, and because of her fabulous generosity, even more will receive the care and services they need in times of emergency.”
She noted that Mrs. Pope’s commitment was affirmed with her “transformational” gift of $1 million last year to American Humane Association to launch the Red Star National Centennial Campaign, which celebrates the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the Red Star Animal Emergency Services program. Red Star Rescue services were founded during World War I, when the organization was invited to serve as the “Red Cross” for animals by providing care for horses injured in battle. Since that time, Red Star’s expert staff, trained volunteers, and mobile emergency resources have deployed to emergency and disaster scenes to find, rescue, treat, and shelter tens of thousands of animals until they can be reunited with their families. Over the next five years, the Red Star National Centennial Campaign will raise funds to boost the nation’s capacity to prepare for—and care for—animals in emergencies, as well as assist the recovery of communities through the healing power of animal-assisted therapy. Today, American Humane Association Red Star Animal Emergency Services includes a fleet of emergency response vehicles customized to help animals in disasters, and containing specialized rescue equipment designed specifically for animal search and rescue. Most recently, the program has been on the ground providing services following Hurricane Sandy, the floods in North Dakota, the tornado that destroyed Joplin, Missouri, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as animal cruelty cases in Memphis, Tennessee, Spokane, Washington, and Billings, Montana, among others.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
Lois Pope is one of America’s leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation’s first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.