Image of the Banfield Foundation's new 50-foot truck unveiling courtesy of PR Newsire

Image of the Banfield Foundation's new 50-foot truck unveiling courtesy of PR Newsire

Banfield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, unveiled a new, 50-foot American Humane rescue truck dedicated to helping safeguard animals on the West Coast.

The truck's launch comes at a crucial time as thousands of Americans and their pets continue to face emergency and rescue needs in the aftermath of recent disasters.

The foundation will cover the new vehicle's operational costs as part of its Disaster Relief Grant program, which is available to nonprofit animal organizations and local or state governments whose communities suffer the impact of disasters. Such grants have already made a positive difference, most recently funding care, supplies, and medication for pets impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

"The number of animals in need of rescue and rehabilitation following recent natural disasters reinforces the decision to expand rescue capabilities on the West Coast to provide care and support to those pets that need it most," said George Melillo, VMD, Banfield Foundation board member and Vice President of Veterinary Quality at Banfield Pet Hospital. "The Banfield Foundation is honored to be part of the amazing work American Humane is doing for pets – in the best and worst of times."

When called upon to support in disaster situations, the vehicle will enable pet rescues and delivery of food, supplies, and medication to impacted regions. Banfield Pet Hospital veterinarians and technicians will also partner with American Humane to provide veterinary care to pets in low-income communities.

When not deployed to a disaster area, the truck will be based in California, frequently ranked among the most at-risk states for natural disasters in the U.S., where it will aid in cruelty, dog-fighting and hoarding cases and be used as a traveling ambassador, bringing prevention and public education campaigns to school children and their communities.