New nonprofit aims to support animal owners in emergencies

Mark Of The Lily President Nikki Karlsson, bottom, and Treasurer Laura Pitassi. Courtesy
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After Stevenson Ranch resident Nikki Karlsson experienced not one but two wildfires, she immediately began to think of the need to assist animals during emergencies.

Originally from Sweden, where she said things are much different due to how rural it is, Karlsson said it was shocking that not every animal owner had a trailer of their own here.

“If you have to evacuate a large amount of animals… there’s no trailers to move them,” she said.

After seeing the destruction of the Woolsey Fire, then struggling firsthand to evacuate her own horse during the Tick Fire — as she, too, didn’t have her own trailer — Karlsson decided to take action.

“So, I knew, we need to create trailers that are available in emergency situations,” she added.

While it took some time for those dreams to come to fruition due to pandemic delays, Karlsson and the new organization’s board of directors officially launched Mark of the Lily Inc. last week.

The newly formed nonprofit’s mission is to create emergency evacuation trailers to aid in saving anything from animal lives to human belongings during disasters, according to Karlsson, Mark of the Lily president.

The launch marks the start of the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to purchase its first evacuation trailer, which is set to be located in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We’re starting here because I’ve witnessed it. I’ve lived it. There’s a desperate need right here,” Karlsson said.

Even so, the nonprofit’s board members are located across the U.S., which is a testament to their goals of growing it to span nationwide.

“We’re trying to make it a really valuable thing for the areas that have the trailers,” Karlsson added. “Eventually we’re hoping to have a fleet of thousands of trailers throughout the country… It is an important mission and a way for this country to unite and make a difference.”

As Mark of the Lily works to get its trailers online, Karlsson recommended animal owners use Evac-U-Pet, an app where they can register their animal’s location to receive notifications of nearby threats and connect those in need with others who are able to assist. 

For more information on Mark of the Lily, visit or email [email protected] 

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