AKC airlifts more than 100 Katrina dogs

New York — The American Kennel Club and its affiliate, AKC Companion Animal Recovery, are working with St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in a coordinated effort to rescue many dogs left homeless as a result of Hurricane Katrina. On Saturday, Oct. 1, approximately 100 dogs will travel by private charter plane from Baton Rouge, LA, to Madison, NJ.

The AKC staff has been on-site at Lamar-Dixon this week to help St. Hubert's arrange for the release of the dogs as well as to facilitate the air and ground transportation to the newly-established "Katrina K-9 Care Center" in Mendham Township, NJ.

"Since the beginning of this disaster, the AKC has been concerned about the health and welfare of all dogs in the Gulf States and has assisted in their care," said AKC President and CEO Dennis B. Sprung. "AKC will continue to provide financial support for the dogs to ensure their needs are met while in New Jersey

"Together with the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs, who helped arrange the air transport, and St. Hubert's, the AKC is proud to be a part of this truly collaborative effort," said AKC Chairman Ronald H. Menaker, a former board member of St. Hubert's. "Helping all dogs during times like these is how the AKC shows its support for our cherished canine companions when they may be separated from their owners."

Once the dogs arrive at St. Hubert's Katrina K-9 Care Center, they will receive an initial veterinary exam and will be photographed and cataloged so that every effort can be made to reunite them with their owners. After the dogs are placed in their own individual kennel space, which includes indoor/outdoor runs, they will receive a complete exam and diagnostic workup. All dogs will be healthy and spayed/neutered before they are available for adoption in mid-to-late October.

"We all know the stress these hurricane dogs have endured. Our staff and volunteers are going to give these animals the very special care they need, medical and emotional, until they are reunited with their owners or placed in new homes," said Elizabeth McCorkle, President of St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center. "We are grateful to the AKC for airlifting these hurricane animals to St. Hubert's. We know we can count on the good hearts of the people in New Jersey to help us provide them with a second chance at life."

One hundred percent of the donations made to the AKC/CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund are used to purchase needed equipment and supplies for domestic animals orphaned or displaced as a result of natural or civil disasters. If you wish to make a fully tax-deductible donation, you may send it to the address below or visit the AKC website at www.akc.org.