New truck will allow Texas A&M to evacuate animals during hurricanes

The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team has acquired a new vehicle to help evacuate pets from disaster-affected areas.

According to the university, the 28-foot trailer, donated by the Banfield Foundation, will mostly be used in the evacuation phase of hurricanes and flooding, enabling the transport of 44 small animals to hospitalization or shelter areas. It also allows for ill, injured or anxious animals to be separated from others undergoing assessment or treatment.

This is the first vehicle the Veterinary Emergency Team will use that’s designed for the evacuation of animals. The team designed it based on previous experience. In addition to the 44 kennels, the vehicle has an onboard generator, two rooftop air conditioning units, a 30-gallon freshwater tank and exterior flood lights so the trailer can be used in any condition.

“This addition really expands our ability to respond,” said VET Director Dr. Wesley Bissett. “In the past, for the most part, we’ve had to rely on people bringing their animals to us. This is going to allow us to go into the hardest-hit areas and get our hands on those animals faster.”