SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

September 15, 2008 15:51 ET

PetSmart Charities® Sends Emergency Relief to Southeast Texas to Help Animals Displaced by Hurricane Ike

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, PetSmart Charities is sending an Emergency Relief Waggin'® stocked with at least 16 tons of much-needed supplies to one of the hardest-hit areas of Texas.

"We received a request for assistance from officials with the Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART) for an emergency animal shelter and triage center being set up in Orange County, Texas," said Susana Della Maddalena, Executive Director of PetSmart Charities. "At this time, we do not know the specific number of animals who have been displaced or injured as a result of the storm. However, all indications are that this could be a large-scale rescue effort, and that sheltering for companion animals will likely be necessary for several days or longer."

The 53-foot ER Waggin' loaded with at least 26 pallets of pet supplies and emergency relief equipment for rescuers and caregivers will depart from the PetSmart® Distribution Center in Ennis, Texas as early as today. It is bound for the Humane Society of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.

Each of the PetSmart Charities ER Waggins' is stocked with emergency animal-care and volunteer supplies valued at $60,000 per load. Supplies include pet food, crates, beds, bowls, litter and litter pans, and other necessary animal-care items, as well as a generator, fans, tents, a battery charger, lights and other supplies to assist the volunteers on site who are caring for displaced companion animals.

"Should additional help be needed in the aftermath of the storm, we will provide it," Della Maddalena added. "The sole purpose of our ER Waggin' program is to ensure that necessary assistance is readily available for animals in need as a result of disasters such as this one."

PetSmart Charities established its Emergency Relief Program in 2007 to provide assistance following natural and manmade disasters. Just two weeks ago, PetSmart Charities was helping pets displaced by Hurricane Gustav.

Members of the public who would like to support PetSmart Charities' ER Waggin' Program can make a tax-deductible donation in one of two ways:

1. Make a credit card donation via the PetSmart Charities Web site at: www.PetSmartCharities.org;

2. Mail a check earmarked for "Emergency Relief" directly to: PetSmart Charities, Attn: Emergency Relief; 19601 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Ariz., 85027.

Funds raised will be used to aid pets affected by Hurricane Ike and future ER Waggin' rescue efforts when pets are affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Learn more at http://www.petsmartcharities.org/programs/emergency-relief.php

ABOUT PETSMART CHARITIES, INC.

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has funded more than $70 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and, through its in-store pet adoption program, has helped save the lives of more than 3.4 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working to help find a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit www.petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS.

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