November 1, 2007 -- With fires still burning through southern California, SmartPak, Kensington Protective Products, About PetsUnited, LLC, and others have donated supplies, time and money to aiding the thousands of horses evacuated from the area.
The fires have been burning since October 20 destroying 520,000 acres. The blaze has consumed 2,000 homes and forced an estimated 500,000 people to evacuate. San Diego County, the hardest hit by the wildfires, is home to 300,000 horses and is the leader of California equine sales, being home to many Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing breeders.
Working beside firefighters, the San Diego Humane Society, the Humane Society of the United States and the California Veterinary Medical Association have dispatched teams to rescue and relocate horses to official, large-animal evacuation centers set up at private farms that have donated available space. The organizations are relying largely on donated feed, supplies and veterinary aid.
SmartPak has contributed a $5,000 donation to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) disaster fund, which assists equines that are victims of disasters. SmartPak also plans to set up a collection site at their store in Natick, Mass., where customers can make a cash donation to help support the relief efforts. This donation, along with others, are a part of SmartPak's SmartBlue™ program, which donates a portion of the sales of their SmartBlue line to charities.
"We are so thankful to the SmartPak customers who have purchased SmartBlue™ Blankets and Accessories who helped make this donation possible" said Paal Gisholt, SmartPak's CEO. "We hope that our donations will help provide much-needed assistance to the horses who've become victims of these devastating wildfires."
Kensington Protective Products' Creative Director Joseph Reynoso and Vice President Anthony Gatto personally brought thousands of donated Kensington fly masks, blankets and sheets to the Southern California equine rescue centers. They spent time in the field outfitting the rescued horses against the sun and insects.
About PetsUnited, LLC (StateLineTack.com, Dog.com, Fish.com, Bird.com) expect to ship over $250,000 in needed supplies and aid to families and their pets hit by the fires. About PetsUnited companies quickly established a central location where animal lovers around the nation could funnel their charity. The online effort has so far netted over $50,000 and is growing daily. The companies are matching $2 in aid for every dollar donated. Animal lovers can donate through StateLineTack.com.
Other members of this rescue effort include FedEx, who has graciously agreed to provide free shipping for the freight, and NCR eCommerce, a division of NCR Corporation, who will assist in the online communications and transactions.