The people's voice of reason

June is National Pet Preparedness Month

June is National Pet Preparedness Month encouraging pet owners to plan ahead in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. For our area, tornados, hurricanes, flooding and fire are the most likely and all of us should plan for our family's safety, to include our pets. The first step in planning is to find a safe place to stay - a friend, family member, emergency shelter run by a local organization (many of which will not accept pets or will have a limit as to how many) or even a pet friendly hotel outside of the affected area. Most Humane/Animal Shelters in our area are unable to 'board' pets during a disaster as shelters tend to have heavy intake before bad weather and are simply full of homeless pets of varying temperaments and health issues.

Identifying WHEN to evacuate is perhaps the most important step as evacuating with a pet might slow you down a bit, so be sure to leave early to give yourself the extra travel time.

Ensure your pet is wearing a collar, rabies tag and Pet Identification Tag (we can make custom tags at our shelter) &, if at all possible, a Microchip (call your Veterinarian) and make sure your contact information is current. Keep your pets leashed and if your pets are traveling in a carrier, be sure to secure identification to the travel carrier.

Having a crate large enough to accommodate a cat AND its litter box, food and water is important for cat owners as your cat(s) might have to stay in that crate for more than a few days. They will be fine and better to leave them a well-appointed crate than losing them when you open a car or hotel room door. Crating your dog while staying in a new area will protect your dog just the same.

Prep a Pet Evacuation & Disaster Kit in a sturdy, waterproof carrier containing: Food for a minimum of three days for each pet, can opener for any canned pet food, water for a minimum of seven days for each pet, food/water bowls, leashes/harnesses/pet carriers, bedding, pet medications, copies of pet medical records, for cats - litter/litter box, disposable bags for pet waste, current photos and description of your pets to help identify them if you were to become separated, toys/treats that may help distract/calm your pet. Take and store photos of your pets in your cell phone along with their tag and microchip numbers so you can access them in the event you lose or cannot get to hard copy records.

If you are away and your pets are under the care of a friend/neighbor or even a boarding facility, make sure they have a pet information sheet with your pet's description, ID tag and microchip numbers, photo, veterinarian address and contact info, information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavioral issues. Also make sure your pet caregiver knows how to contact you in the event of an emergency and where you have gone.

There is no better time to prepare than right now and for more tips (including for other species) go to: https://www.ready.gov/pets or https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness or https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/make-disaster-plan-your-pets .

 

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