Contact: Julie Willmot
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MOBILE TRAILER CAN TEMPORARILY SHELTER UP TO 43 ANIMALS DURING AN EMERGENCY

TRENTON, N.J. -Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes unveiled the County's new animal rescue trailer today in Trenton's Island neighborhood, which was hard-hit by severe flooding in recent years.

The trailer, which was purchased with $55,000 in federal Homeland Security funding, is fully mobile and can temporarily house up to 43 animals in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

"This trailer is vitally important for residents like those here on the Island who have experienced major floods recently," Hughes said as he stood next to the trailer near the banks of the Delaware River. "While we are concerned about the lives of animals, human life is obviously our first concern. This can help give residents the peace of mind that their pets will be cared for and facilitate the evacuation process in an emergency."

The trailer measures 8 feet wide by 24 feet long and contains 38 individual compartments for animals, which can be expanded to accommodate more if necessary. The trailer is equipped with a 30-gallon fresh water holding tank, heating and air conditioning, a built-in generator, and lighting, among other amenities. It will be stocked with food and medical supplies.

Hughes said it became widely evident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that some residents lost their lives in an attempt to remain with their pets. Utilizing Homeland Security funding, he said the animal rescue trailer is Mercer County's latest effort to improve its emergency preparedness and operations.

In addition to emergency operations, the trailer is expected to be used in conjunction with municipal animal control offices to coordinate rabies vaccinations, spaying and neutering and other animal control activities in Mercer County's 13 towns.