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Animal emergency drill held

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: May 17 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 18 2013 05:42:20 PM CDT

Animal emergency drill held

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Workers evacuated the Lehigh Co. Humane Society Saturday afternoon.  It's not an actual emergency, but a drill to prepare for one.

Like Noah loading his creatures into the ark, animals at the Humane Society shelter in Allentown loaded up and moved out.

"Thirteen dogs, 20 cats, and one rabbit," said Donna Lagomarsimo with the Lehigh Valley County Animal Response Team, or CART.

This is just a practice evacuation -- not for a Biblical flood, but one in the creek behind the shelter.

"Anything can happen: a fire, a flood, you name it," said shelter director Cary Moran.  "When Hurricane Sandy hit, we lost power for nearly a week."

Trish Burkhardt with CART said:  "We've been tagging each individual crate or carrier with information about the animal, and then we're keeping a log of all the animals that are being transported."

Now this is just a drill, so they're moving a little bit slower than they would if this was an actual emergency.

"We kind of took our time this time, because this is really a learning experience," said Burkhardt.

The animals will shelter at the Emmaus Fire Department's training facility for the night.

"We're going to be making up a really nice little evacuation plan for the shelter," said Burhardt.

It's a plan organizers hope other area shelters will form too.

"I don't know for sure if they have their preparedness plans in place, but certainly if they don't, they should really think about it," said Lagomarsimo.

When a real disaster happens, Fido and Fifi just can't wait.