When natural disasters hit, every second counts. Just a few moments can mean the difference between life and death for people — and their pets.
Many animals are left behind during emergency evacuations because help is just too hard and slow to find. But after witnessing this chaos firsthand, Morgan Walston and Amanda Baudo were determined to change that.
In 2006, they were hard at work during the Los Angeles County Sand Fire trying to save as many animals as possible. But they knew there had to be a better way.
"We were using social media and phone calls, and it just was not efficient," Morgan said. Amanda remembers telling her, "There has to be an app for this."
As it turned out, there wasn't, but they realized they could be the ones to create it! So the women took their idea to app developer Kelly Bakst.
Together, the three of them came up with Evac-U-Pet. "It's kind of like Uber for animal rescue," Kelly said.
The free application was officially launched in July 2019 and is available on both iPhone and Android. It has already helped save at least two dozen pets during the Saddleridge Fire in October.
The app connects animals in need (both large and small) with nearby volunteers who can transport them to safety. It also provides GPS routes to the nearest evacuation centers.
All people have to do is register their pets and location and provide any information that would be relevant in an emergency. If a disaster strikes, the app will ask owners if their pet needs to be evacuated. Those that do are quickly paired with volunteers who are equipped to meet their needs.
Currently, the app is only available for residents of Los Angeles County. But Morgan, Amanda, and Kelly hope to expand across the nation. Just imagine how many more lives the app will save then!
Learn more about Evac-U-Pet in the video below, and share to spread the word about this lifesaving development!
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