COLUMBIA, MO -

On Wednesday the American Kennel Club Reunite Project and a Columbia non-profit presented a new pet disaster relief trailer to Boone County at Stephens Lake Park.

The trailer is the first of its kind in Missouri. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, almost half of the people who chose not to evacuate did so because evacuation centers would not take their animals.

Since then, a federal law now requires a plan to account for pets as well as people. That is why the American Kennel Club Pet Disaster Relief Trailer was created, to provide shelter to animals during a natural disaster.

The trailer will also serve as a lost and found triage center to provide medical treatment for pets that may have been left behind.

The Boone County Office of Emergency Management owns and controls the trailer. But if they are called to assist somewhere else, it will also be taken for emergency relief.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and AKC Reunite helped pay for the trailer, thanks to more than $20,000 in donations and grants.