Saving the lives of animals during disasters just became easier after the Central California Animal Disaster Team of Kern County recently received a new strike trailer, complete with a logo wrap, courtesy of Cheers to Charity.

Last September, Cheers to Charity distributed $40,000 to local nonprofits, money which was raised during its 5th annual event held in August at Aviator Park. Of the 11 selected recipients for 2018, CCADT received the largest donation, at $8,000.

The disaster team used this donation to purchase the new strike trailer, which is equipped to provide emergency shelter for small animals.

"There is probably enough equipment in there to set up shelter for 40 small animals like dogs and cats," Jeff Kermode, public information officer for CCADT Greater Tehachapi Valley Division, said of the fully-stocked trailer. "Cheers to Charity are really the ones who made it happen for us."

To date, Cheers to Charity has donated $150,100 to local nonprofits.

"We have a lot of volunteers that work real hard for that one-night event, and when we see our donations manifest into something that can help the community in inexplicable ways, in amazing ways, then we've done a good thing, and it makes my heart happy," said Mary Beth Garrison, president of Cheers to Charity.

CCADT provides disaster-related animal services in seven counties within the San Joaquin Valley, including Kern. Founded in 2011 by its chief executive officer, Naomi Tobias, the nonprofit, volunteer organization assists emergency response agencies with displaced animals during disasters such as fires and floods.

"When Kern County Animal Services request assistance, then we are their official, mutual-aid partner," Kermode said.

This assistance includes evacuation, emergency sheltering, search and rescue of lost pets and care for animals. CCADT collaborates with local emergency managers to develop strategic plans to respond and care for animals during disasters in addition to educating the public on disaster preparation and the humane treatment of animals.

CCADT's mission is also to assist animal control agencies with animal cruelty cases by providing resources for field rescue.

As chief executive officer, Tobias oversees CCADT's operations of four strike trailers and 100 volunteers, including Tehachapi's new strike trailer and 12 local volunteers, in Fresno.

"We have been busy," Tobias said. "Since 2013, we have responded to 31 wildfires, three major flood issues and other structure fires."

Local CCADT volunteers work closely with its community partners, including the American Red Cross, city of Tehachapi, Tehachapi, Stallion Springs and Bear Valley police departments, Kern County Sheriff's Office, Kern County Animal Services and the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps.

"We are always in constant need of volunteers and supplies," Tobias said.

For more information, visit CCADT.org or call 888-402-2238.