Gentry, NC SART collaborate with American Kennel Club to ensure animals' safety

Nov. 14, 2013

Bill Gentry (center, blue shirt) poses with representatives from the AKC and NC SART.

Bill Gentry (center, blue shirt) poses with representatives from the AKC and NC SART.

A new disaster-relief trailer, presented on Oct. 30 to officials in Pamlico County, N.C., will shelter pets and their owners during natural or civil disasters that occur in the county’s coastal towns.

Purchase of and provisions for the trailer were enabled by  a grant from the American Kennel Club (AKC) Pet Disaster Relief program and coordinated through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture – Emergency Programs Division and North Carolina State Animal Response Teams (NC SART).

SART is a public-private partnership that addresses issues involving animals during widespread emergency situations.

Through a cooperative agreement, NC SART will build trailers for the AKC that will be used in SART programs across the country.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers establish safe, temporary homes for at least 50 pets immediately after a disaster is declared. Sometimes the program provides a co-location shelter, to which people can evacuate with their pets; in other settings, the shelter is put into place for displaced animals or animals that cannot go with their owners to a safe location. The trailers hold and deliver essential supplies including fans, lighting and generators; cleaning supplies; maintenance items; and animal care items such as crates and carriers, microchips and scanner, and bowls, collars and leashes.

Bill Gentry, MPA, health policy and management lecturer and director of the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management program at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, is an officer on NC SART’s board of directors.

“NC SART is always looking for partners to promote animal safety and well-being during and after a disaster,” Gentry said. “The relationship that I bring from UNC’s school of public health is our belief in the one medicine/one health concept that closely aligns human and animal health, especially during disaster and public health emergency events.”

Multiple national surveys show that a large percentage of Americans will not heed evacuation orders during a disaster event without being assured that they can take their pets with them.

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or