WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2013 -- American Humane Association is driving its famed Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services team into storm-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma to help animals who need rescue and shelter in the wake of the devastating tornado. Following storm tracking on their mobile command centers, inside the 82-foot Red Star™ Rescue Rig sponsored by Mars Petcare US and 50-foot "Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle" will serve as base and housing for its specially trained staff and volunteers.
American Humane Association's Red Star program has nearly a century-long legacy of animal relief experience and is reaching out with critical help and on-the-ground rescue and support services, along with the generous support of its partners. Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs and WHISKAS® Food for Cats, is sponsoring the deployment of the giant Rescue Rig and donating emergency food supplies. Banfield Pet Hospital, a business of Mars, Incorporated, is supplying veterinary care, along with Zoetis, which is supplying vitally needed medicines. Philanthropist Lois Pope, country music star Miranda Lambert's MuttNation Foundation and American Humane Association supporters across the country who sent in donations for the relief effort are also supporting this effort. Logistics are being provided by Rescue Bank®, Mars Petcare's partner for donation shipment. Rescue Bank manages a nationwide network of non-profit distribution centers delivering donated pet food to rescues, shelters and social service agencies.
Supported by Mars Petcare, the 82-foot-long Red Star Rescue Rig is fully equipped with a mobile operating theater, emergency rescue equipment, and accommodations for 12 volunteers. The convoy also features the inaugural rescue mission of the 50-foot "Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle," carrying rescue apparatus, food and medical supplies, snap-together kennels for extending or creating animal shelters, food bowls and other items to keep animals safe and cared for. Manned by four certified and specially trained responders and certified Red Star volunteers, the vehicle can shelter up to 100 animals.
With the help of MuttNation Foundation, Red Star was invited by the State of Oklahoma to deploy as an approved first-responder to assist pets in need and to help provide emergency rescue operations, sheltering and much-needed care to these innocent animal victims. The Red Star Rescue Rig will leave its home base in Denver today and is expected to arrive Thursday evening to begin setting up an emergency shelter at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. The Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle is en route from its home base in Palm Beach and will arrive Thursday morning.
American Humane Association's Red Star Rescue teams have been part of every major disaster relief effort for the past century from rescuing horses on the battlefields of World I Europe to Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and last year's Hurricane Sandy. They have rescued and sheltered more than 70,000 animals in just the past five years.
"Tornadoes are among the most terrifying and destructive natural disasters" said American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. "In the wake of the catastrophic destruction in Moore, hundreds of frightened children and animals find themselves suddenly homeless. Our Red Star Rescue team brings a century of experience and all of our resources to the community of Moore, Oklahoma. We stand ready to help rescue and reunite pets with their families, and will stay on the ground as long as necessary. Our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected by this catastrophic storm.
"We are honored to work alongside American Humane Association and our PEDIGREE partner Miranda Lambert, and her MuttNation Foundation, to assist the pets in need," said Debra Fair, vice president, Mars Petcare US. "Uniting together, we will make a difference to the thousands of people and pets in the community affected by the devastation." For those in need of assistance, veterinary care and pet food supplies, visit the Red Star Rescue vehicles at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds at 615 E Robinson St. in Norman, OK.
Life-Saving Tips to Keep Children and Pets Safe Before, During and After a Tornado
With the potential of more devastating storms on the horizon, the experts at American Humane Association's Red Star™ Rescue Services have posted a series of 10 tips to help before, during and after a tornado strikes at: americanhumane.org/tornado-tips
About American Humane Association and the Red Star™ Rescue Program
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.
Their legendary Red Star team has been involved in nearly every major relief effort over the past 100 years, starting in World War I when they rescued wounded horses, and continuing through the decades with on-the-scene help following Pearl Harbor, Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy, the eruption at Mount Saint Helens, 9/11, and the disasters in Memphis and Joplin. Red Star has rescued and sheltered more than 70,000 animals in just the past five years.
For more information and tips, or to support Red Star's efforts, go to www.americanhumane.org or call 1-866-242-1877.
About Mars Petcare US and Banfield Pet Hospital®
Mars Petcare US and Banfield Pet Hospital are the U.S. operations of the world's largest petcare and veterinary practice at the privately-held Mars, Incorporated.
Mars Petcare US produces some of the world's most beloved pet care brands, including PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Canine Cuisine, SHEBA® Entrees for Cats, WHISKAS® Food for Cats and TEMPTATIONS® Treats for Cats. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., more than 2,200 Mars Petcare US associates make, sell and distribute its high-quality pet food from 15 manufacturing facilities located in communities across the U.S.
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses in 2007, and today it is more than 800 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to providing pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, visit banfield.com or contact the Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.
About MuttNation Foundation
MuttNation Foundation is a donation-supported organization working to end pet suffering and homelessness in the U.S. and abroad. Formed by Bev and Miranda Lambert, the charity volunteers and partners with shelters and animal assistance organizations to provide spay and neuter programs, medical treatments, adoptions, preventions, transportation, legislative changes, and education. As a family operated 501(c)3 organization, our goal is to ensure that every single dollar donated assists animals in need. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/MuttNation.
Zoetis (zo-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries.