SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities Emergency Relief Waggin' Logo

March 18, 2010 18:31 ET

PetSmart Charities® Sends Emergency Relief Waggin'® Vehicle to Alleged Hoarding Situation in Mississippi

Officials Report More Than 300 Animals in Need of Immediate Help

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) -  PetSmart Charities has dispatched its Emergency Relief Waggin'® vehicle to the scene of an animal rescue in Gulfport, Miss., where more than 300 animals are reportedly in need of assistance.

The 225 dogs, 75 cats were reportedly being housed in extremely cramped crates and cages with no access to running water. The animals were suffering from varying medical problems, including severe skin and eye infections, according to rescuers on scene. Many had never lived outside their wire cages. Additionally, seven goats, a rooster and a pony were also on the scene and reportedly suffering from medical conditions.

The Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle is stocked with $60,000 worth of crucial supplies, including pet food, wire crates, plastic carriers, bowls and leashes. The vehicle is also stocked with items such as fans, a generator, tents, a battery charger and lights to aid the animal rescuers on scene. The 53' trailer and its 16-ton cargo load departed the PetSmart® Distribution Center in Newnan, Ga. on Thursday, bound for Gulfport, Miss., where animal-rescue teams will operate an emergency animal shelter.

"In addition to the crucial supplies for the animal victims, PetSmart Charities also dispatches a specially trained team of volunteers to meet the Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle on the scene, unload the 16 tons of supplies and set up the temporary animal shelter," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "This enables animal rescuers to focus on the animals and immediately tend to their medical needs. This type of well-executed, cooperative effort means that the helpless animal victims will get the assistance they need as quickly and efficiently as possible."

The dogs rescued were of varying mixed breeds.

PetSmart Charities is a nonprofit organization and the largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America. It established its Emergency Relief Waggin' program in March 2007 to help animals who are displaced and/or suffering as a result of natural or man-made disasters.

Man-made disasters include puppy mills -- sub-standard breeding facilities where dozens or hundreds of dogs and puppies often live in neglectful conditions while producing puppies for sale -- and animal-hoarding situations. In some cases, the individuals involved in puppy-mill or animal-hoarding situations face criminal charges.

PetSmart Charities believes that like all pets, animals rescued from these types of situations deserve lifelong, loving homes, said Della Maddalena.

"Our hope is that over time, the pets rescued from cruelty cases, low-quality breeders and hoarders can be rehabilitated and placed into responsible, caring homes," she continued.

Members of the public who would like to support PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief 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:;
  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 this and future Emergency Relief Waggin' program efforts when pets are affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Learn more about the Emergency Relief Waggin' program at

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) 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. The largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $110 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and, through its in-store adoption program, helped save the lives of more than 4 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its Vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit or call 1-800-423-PETS.

Contact Information

    Kim Noetzel, Communication Manager
    (623) 587-2872 - office
    Email Contact


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