Montgomery, Ala. - The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association announced the opening of three shelters equipped to house pets in the event of a disaster.
MONTGOMERY, ALA. — The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association announced the opening of three shelters equipped to house pets in the event of a disaster.
The facilities, in Montgomery, Birmingham and Dothan, near the Florida panhandle, can take in hundreds of animals collectively, says Dr. Charles Franz, the association's executive director. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will coordinate intake.
According to agriculture department officials, the state shelters will accept all animals, including snakes and unvaccinated pets. The state will provide medical equipment and testing necessary to administer rabies shots and will provide medication for any animals with a communicable disease. Pet owners will not be able to accompany their pets, although there will be limited room elsewhere on the property for owners to stay.
The project, funded in part by a $20,000 grant from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, answers a need illustrated during 2005's hurricane season, which ravaged cities along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Although just a small portion of Alabama borders the Gulf, displaced owners and animals from other coastal areas flooded the state's shelter system. The facility in Birmingham, roughly 200 miles inland, is removed from hurricane danger zones, yet sits along a route frequented by evacuees, Franz says.