Emergency Planning for Pet Owners-Help your animal stay alive!
Your pet counts on You!
Your pet is a part of your family. He or she will have special needs if an emergency happens. That’s why its important to include your pets in your emergency plan.
Prepare for the unexpected. For example, a disaster may strike when you are away from home. If you are unable to get to your pet, you will need someone else to step in for you.
Be ready to evacuate. You may only have a moment’s notice to leave your home. That’s why it’s important to :
*Have essential supplies ready to ‘grab & go’
*Know where to temporary housing for you and your pet.
Also, your pet’s behavior may change under stress. Practice emergency procedures. For example, familiarize your pet with how you will transport him or her if you need to evacuate.
Make sure your pet can be identified. Your pet should always wear on ID tag and/or be micro-chipped. If you are separated from your pet during an emergency, proper ID can help improve the chances you will be reunited. A little planning now ca nsave the life of your pet.
In case of evacuation, take care of your pet.
Never leave your pet behind in an emergency. He or she may become lost, injured or worse. The key to evacuating together is to arrange housing in advance. Consider:
Friends and relatives: Ask a friend or relative outside your local area if he or she can shelter:
*You and your pet
*Your pet without you, if necessary.
If you have more than 1 pet, you may need to find separate housing.
Hotels and motels: Contact hotels and motels outside your local area. Find out if they:
*Allow pets and if so, whether they have any restrictions (such as size or species).
*Have a special animal policy during emergencies.
During an evacuation:
*Leave early. If you wait, you may be told that you can not take your pet.
*Make reservations at a hotel/motel as soon as possible, if application.
*Label your pet with your temporary shelter or housing information.
Emergency shelters: Ask your local emergency management office or animal control for a list of emergency shelters that allow pets. Keep in mind that many shelters do not allow animals (other than service animals) for safety and health reasons.
Veterinary offices, animal shelters and boarding facilities: Consider these options as a last resort, since they will probably be full or closed during an emergency.
Create a pet emergency supply kit: use this checklist to help you gather everything you may need for your pet:
Basic Supplies: Include:
*At least a 3 day supply of food and water.
*An extra supply of regular medications with dosage instructions (and any needed medical supplies).
*A flashlight with extra batteries.
*Food and water bowls (or water bottles for smaller pets).
*A can opener and spoon for canned food, if necessary.
*A cage or carrier for smaller animals.
*An extra collar, leash or harness for larger animals.
*A litter box, litter and a scoop (for cats).
*Plastic trash bags, paper towels, soap and bleach (for waste).
Other Supplies: You may also want to include:
*Comfort items (such as bedding, toys or pet treats).
*Disposable gloves (for handling waste)
*A hot water bottle or other heating source in cold weather (for birds or reptiles).
*A spray bottle for misting in hot weather.
*Cage liner and perch (for birds).
*A blanket or sheet to cover cages.
*Exercise equipment (for small animals such as hamsters or ferrets)
*A soaking bowl (for reptiles)
*Store emergency supplies in portable containers in case you need to evacuate.
Important information and records include:
*Feeding schedule and dietary instructions, including any food your pet should not eat.
*A recent photo of you with your pet (in case you become separated).
*A description of your pet (include species, breed, size, age, gender, coloring, special markings etc.)
*A copy of your pet’s medical records, including vaccination, dates.
*A copy of adoption or purchase records.
*An emergency release form for your pet’s backup caregiver.
*Contact information for you, your pet’s veterinarian and a friend or relative that lives out of town.
*A list of places where your pet can stay in an emergency.
*Microchip information, if applicable.
Tips for maintaining your kit:
*Rotate food and water regularly (About every 2 months) to keep supplies fresh. Replace medication that is past its expiration date.
*Keep food, medication and papers in airtight, water proof containers.
*Store the kit in a cool dry place.
A first-aid kit:
Ask your pet’s veterinarian about what to include. He or she may recommend:
*An animal first-aid book
*Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors
*Flea and tick medication
If an emergency happens when you’re away from home, know who to call to help your pet.
Find a backup caregiver: for example, ask a neighbor or a nearby friend or relative. Make sure he or she :
*Can easily get to your home.
*Is comfortable and familiar with your pet.
Keep your backup caregiver informed: for example, he or she should know:
*Where to find your pet.
*Where to fin the emergency supply kit
*Where to meet you with your pet if evacuation is necessary.
*Contact information for you and your pet’s veterinarian.
*Any medical or behavioral problems your pet may have.
Give your backup caregiver a plan in writing. He or she should also have keys to your home.
Prepare any necessary release forms. Ask your pet’s veterinarian about forms that would allow your backup caregiver to authorize medical treatment in an emergency. Also ask about forms that would allow you to set spending limits for treatment. Make sure your backup caregiver has experience caring for pets.
“What else can I do to help keep my pet safe in an emergency?”
Get your pet microchipped.
Ask your pets veterinarian about implanting this grain-size computer chip under your pet’s ski. It’s not just for cats and dogs. Rabbits, birds, reptiles and many other pets can be microchipped. Most animal clinics and shelter have scanners that can read the microchip for a special number. If your pet gets lost and turned in to one of these facilities, the number can be used to find you in an animal database.
Keep your pet’s ID current:
Your pet’s ID should include his or her name and the current contact information for you and an out of town friend or relative. Consider putting this information on your pet’s:
*Leg or neckband
*Cage/carrier (using permanent ink)
Get more information:
To learn more about emergency planning for your pet, contact:
*Your pet’s veterinarian
*Your local humane society
*The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org)
*The Humane Society of the United States-www.humanesociety.org
*The American Veterinary Medical Association-www.avma.org/disaster
Be your pet’s hero-include him or her in your emergency plans!
Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from the Channing Bete Company pamphlet. Please call the above numbers and emails for more information on protecting your pet.