Giant Holiday Gift Arrives in New York to Give Safer New Year to Millions of Animals in the Northeast

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One Year After Hurricane Sandy, American Humane Association and Nation’s Top Philanthropists Announce Investment in Safety at New York Stock Exchange

Gigantic 50-foot Vehicle Funded by Philanthropist Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital®, Zoetis and Other Benefactors to Help in Aftermath of Gigantic Storms and Other Crises

New York, December 27, 2013 - A gigantic holiday gift promising a healthier, happier and safer New Year for the animals of the Northeast rolled into town today to gasps of curiosity, amazement – and most especially, relief – of onlookers.

One year after Hurricane Sandy, American Humane Association, the country’s first national humanitarian organization, unveiled a giant 50-foot-long emergency rescue vehicle designed to provide help and hope to the Northeastern U.S. in times of disasters. Made possible through the generous support of philanthropist Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital, Zoetis, and other major donors, the truck is the latest addition to American Humane Association’s historic Red Star™ emergency services program, which rescues and shelters animals in crises, and provides animal-assisted therapy to children and families following traumatic events. The program began in World War I by saving wounded horses and has been part of every major disaster relief effort since, from Pearl Harbor to Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma tornado, the Colorado floods, 9/11, and Superstorm Sandy.

This major investment in the safety of those living in the Northeast was announced in a special ceremony during the New York Stock Exchange closing bell by American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, top executives from Banfield Pet Hospital and Zoetis, and more than 40 of the nation’s top philanthropists and corporate and foundation executives.

“This new rescue vehicle is a major investment in the families, children and animals of the Northeast,” said Dr. Ganzert. “The newest member of our Red Star rescue fleet is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services and will be staffed by four certified and specially trained responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals, and bringing animal-assisted therapy to children and families. The vehicle will be dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire Northeast area. This strengthening of our nation’s emergency operations is a gift to all those who live here, and we thank Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital, Zoetis, and the other major donors in this effort who care about the most vulnerable in times of need.”

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, American Humane Association delivered tens of thousands of pounds of emergency food, medicines and supplies to help animals and provided shelter services, which can save human lives since many families will not leave a disaster zone without their beloved companion animals, exposing everyone to danger. American Humane Association is also a leader in providing animal-assisted therapy to children and families experiencing crises, medical illnesses, deployments of their parents during military duty, and other challenges.  Earlier this year, American Humane Association’s animal-assisted therapy team worked to help bring calm and healing to the people of Boston following the marathon terror bombings there.

“The Northeast is the most populous area in the country,” says philanthropist and American Humane Association Board Member Lois Pope, who provided the lead funding for the new emergency vehicle and has financed other major additions to the fleet in regions the country. “American Humane Association has deployed many times to help during crises and we are pleased to be able to take a step toward better protecting the families, kids and more than 30 million animals who found themselves in the path last year of  Hurricane Sandy. We saw the toll the storm took on the Northeast last year and wanted to make a difference. By investing in this new emergency vehicle, we may help keep more families safer during the next disaster.”

“The addition of this new vehicle will strengthen our ability to respond to disasters and help alleviate the suffering for more of our most vulnerable when crises strike,” says American Humane Association chair John B. Payne. “We are very proud of American Humane Association’s century-plus of ongoing work to provide lifesaving rescue services following hurricanes, floods, and other crises.”

 “As a practice, we provide exceptional veterinary care to companion animals and this is brought to life every day through our ongoing commitment to preventive care,” said Tony Ueber, president and CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital. “Helping to provide care and shelter to pets during disaster not only helps us live our mission but gives families peace of mind, which is essential in times of crisis. By sponsoring this new vehicle, we’ll help American Humane Association continue their lifesaving rescue services in the northeast, ensuring pets and families receive support when it’s most needed.”

“Zoetis was heavily involved with American Humane Association and its Red Star rescue efforts during Hurricane Sandy last year, providing vital medicines to save lives,” says Dr. Michael McFarland, Group Director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations for Zoetis. “By enhancing the emergency response capability of the Northeast, we hope to protect many more when major storms and other dangerous occurrences inevitably strike.”

More than 40 VIPs attended the dedication during the ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, including American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert; philanthropist and board member Lois Pope; American Humane Association Board  Chair John Payne with Nancy Payne; board members Amanda Bowman, Mike McFarland, Candy Spelling, Elizabeth Lyman, and Lois Pope; VIPs Brandy Austin, Kimball Carr, Maude Cook, William Davis, Karen Fleming, Pierre France, Aidan Ganzert, Bartlett Ganzert, Daisy Ganzert (dog), Jocelyn Ganzert, Robert Ganzert, Kim Koenig, Christine Jenkins, David Levy, Mel Lyman, Dr. Robert Mackler, Robert Miller, Patrick Park, Frank Pilotte and Bjaye Pilotte, Ari Rifkin, Joseph Rossi and Annjenette Rossi, Kira Levy Shaw, Liliana Shaw, and Imogen Shaw, Anthony Taibi and Julian Taibi; and American Humane Association’s Chief Philanthropy and Marketing Officer Mary Kay Phelps, National Director of Emergency Services Justin Scally, and Presidential Aide Jill Nizan.

 

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. A mother and a grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons. For more information about LIFE visit www.life-edu.org.

 

About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today it is more than 830 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving 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 Zoetis

Zoetis (zō-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.  In 2012, the company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion.  With approximately 9,300 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2013, Zoetis has 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. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

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