"The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog."
"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat."
(Ellen Perry Berkeley)
EMERGENCY PLANNING TIPS FOR PET OWNERS
Many people are familiar with the haunting photos of
abandoned pets during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In emergency situations, your animal companion depends on
you to help keep them safe. Here are a few things you can
do in these situations:
- Always take your pets with you. Pets left behind may be
injured, lost, or can suffer from starvation, exposure,
predators, or accidents. Your pet will be safer with you.
- Do not wait for a mandatory evacuation order, or you
may discover that you won't be allowed to take your
pets. Also don't assume that you can return for your
pet "later", as "later" may be too late.
- Keep your pet's documentation organized and in an easy-
to-access place. Include vaccination records, license,
microchip and tattoo numbers, a recent photo, a record
of medical conditions and required medication, and
contact information for your veterinarian.
- When you hear of a possible need to evacuate, put dogs
on leash and cats in carriers to prevent them from
bolting in panic or confusion. This will allow you to
quickly leave with them if necessary.
- Pack a kit for your pets. Include food and water for
several days, medications, leashes or harnesses,
carriers, bedding, toys, and a pet first aid kit.
A list of emergency supplies is available
- Make arrangements with a trusted family member,
neighbour, or friend just in case you're not home.
This person should be comfortable with your pet and
vice versa. Arrange for them to retrieve your pets
and meet you at a specified location.
- Find a safe place to stay ahead of time. Ask friends,
family, and vet clinics outside of your immediate
area if they would be willing to house your pets in
case of emergency. Make a list of
pet-friendly accommodations in
surrounding communities and ask them about their pet
policies. As soon as you think you need to evacuate,
call ahead to make arrangements.
A few moments of planning can make the difference between
a heartbreaking loss, or having your pet safe and happy
at your side.