Posted: May 9, 2013, 5:15 p.m. EDT
With each natural disaster, the inevitable images surface of frightened, lost dogs and cats or bedraggled people with their pets in tow.
Pet food maker Hill’s Pet Nutrition of Topeka, Kan., aims to do more to meet the crushing needs of animal victims of natural disasters, announcing Wednesday that it established the Disaster Relief Network through its Food, Shelter & Love program.
The purpose is to more quickly and efficiently distribute pet food to disaster-affected animals through a network of 100 shelters nationwide.
"I saw firsthand the tremendous work that Hill’s does when they supported my shelter during the wildfires in Colorado last year,” said Jan McHugh-Smith, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, located in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In response to Hurricane Isaac in 2012, Hill’s worked with the SPCA of Texas to deliver Science Diet food to dogs and cats.
The shelter network, which Hill’s called the first of its kind, will coordinate emergency pet food deliveries during times of disaster.
has a long-standing history of helping pets in need by assisting communities during natural disasters—partnering with shelters, veterinary hospitals, pet care organizations and communities to ensure that pets and shelter animals are fed and cared for,” said Kostas Kontopanos
, president of Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. U.S.
The network, he said, formalizes the work Hill’s has done with shelters throughout the United States.
Since 2002, through its Food, Shelter & Love program, Hill’s has donated more than $240 million worth of Hill’s Science Diet brand foods to nearly 1,000 shelters
and helped more than 7 million pets find new homes.
Through the Disaster Relief Network, Hill’s will extend its reach by assisting pets and their owners affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.
"It was remarkable how fast they were able to respond and how committed they were to making sure we had enough food for our shelters, including the temporary shelters we set up to accommodate the influx of displaced animals,” McHugh-Smith said when recounting 2012’s wildfires.
When a disaster strikes, shelters may contact Hill’s for assistance at DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.
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