FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Meaford, ON (October 4, 2016) – Members of the Ontario SPCA Rescue & ReliefTM team will be in Meaford this Wednesday for an evacuation exercise that will help prepare the municipality for any disasters that could arise and threaten the safety of local pets.
The exercise, which is conducted by the Municipality of Meaford and the County of Grey, brings together essential service providers for a training session that will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Meaford arena.
When disaster strikes, the Ontario SPCA Rescue & Relief teams are the first point of contact for Emergency Management Ontario, a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services responsible for developing emergency programs. The Ontario SPCA often works with municipalities across the province, assisting them to ensure animal-related considerations are part of emergency preparedness plans. The Society also works with the municipality to coordinate and activate evacuations and emergency response teams in the event of a disaster involving animals. In addition, the Society works to raise awareness about emergency preparedness among pet owners and care providers.
“Many people don’t realize the Ontario SPCA has a Rescue & Relief program that helps communities when disasters strike,” says Carol Vanderheide, Regional Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “It could be a fire in an apartment building that displaces residents and we’re called in to shelter the animals from that building, or it could be a natural disaster such as a flood where we assist with evacuation efforts to get pets out safely.”
The Ontario SPCA will also be in attendance during the Fire Prevention Week Open House, which takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meaford and District Fire Hall. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how the Ontario SPCA changes the lives of animals and what you can do to help.
“We commend the municipality for recognizing the importance of including animals in their emergency preparedness plan,” says Vanderheide.
Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:
Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. It is a registered charity comprised of over 50 communities.
Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.
Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.
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