Consumer Stories...A place for pets in an emergency

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Pet owners separated from their pets is something that has happened following some of the worst natural disasters in this country.

Unless we're faced with that situation we're not likely to think about how we'd make provisions for our cats and dogs.

Don't worry though, because others are thinking about it for us all of the time.

That's where the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's Animal Care and Control unit steps in.  It is always planning for potential disasters and how to board, care for, and reunite.

That job just got easier.

Thanks to a FEMA and Homeland Security grant, a new trailer now sits in the organization's lot. It has a very specific purpose.

"House more animals and respond to situations that would be remote," says Animal Care and Conrol's Melissa Knicely.

It will carry everything needed to set up a remote camp and provide access to heat, power and water when there is none.  There is also storage for medical supplies.

That's on the level of a mass disaster, but pet lover and inventor Carolyn Matlack is thinking on a personal level.

"I'm not going to leave my pet behind and if they happen to be separated from me I want them back," Matlack said.

She created the "Pet Grab-n-Go.  It is essentially a pet suitcase which packs up like a bag or can be clipped to a crate. It carries the essentials, plus there's a waterproof place to carry pet identification and medical records.

Knicely says having all of that information together makes it easier to do their jobs.  That  Animal Care and Control trailer probably won't be fully operational until February.