September 19, 2011, National Preparedness Month: Day 5 – Do you have a plan for Fido and Fluffy?
“They are our pets. We domesticate them. We bring them into our lives and make them dependent on us for food, shelter, medical care, and love. In return, they enrich our lives in so many ways. Yet somehow, when disaster strikes they often seem to fall between the cracks. This is not to say that human life is not more important, yet it seems as though a system ought to exist for them in times of disaster as it does for us. Often left behind in the urgency of the moment, like very small children they are at a loss to understand just why this is happening to them. Every underpinning in their life is suddenly gone. The people around which their lives revolved have vanished. Their homes as they have known them have disappeared. They are lost, alone, afraid, and often hungry, thirsty, and in pain. Somehow a system must exist for them as it does for us.” Cathy Rokaw, Cat Fanciers’ Almanac, December 1994
Fido and Fluffy are part of our family too… It is essential that we plan ahead for our pets’ safety. Due to lack of awareness and/or planning ahead, many owners leave their animals behind to fend for themselves. It is unlikely those pets will survive if left home alone.
- Take your pets with you. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM.
- Prepare a kit for your animal just as you do for your other family members.
- Well-fitting collar/leash with current rabies, license and ID tags. The importance of ID tags with your name/address/phone number cannot be overly stressed.
- Current health records and color photo in zip-lock plastic bags. Boarding facilities will require proof of current distemper, rabies and possible other immunizations.
- Portable pet carriers and bedding
- Litter box and litter, pooper-scooper
- Filled food and water containers: several days supply
- Food/water bowls
- Favorite toy/bones, etc.
- Special-needs medicines and supplies
- First Aid kit
- Flea/tick spray/powder.
- Verify Pet-Friendly Boarding Facilities – find several options
- Boarding kennels
- Veterinary hospitals with boarding kennels
- Emergency management
- City halls, meeting halls
- Emergency animal shelters may be set up at fairgrounds, in fields, etc.
- After the emergency: Check with local health services and animal hospitals regarding any diseases spreading as a result of the disaster, and their suggested preventative measures.
Resources: Disaster Preparedness For Your Pet
- Animal Disaster Plan – Cyberpet
- Animal Well Being – Evacuation
- Disaster Preparedness – Are You Ready? – HSUS
- Disaster Relief – American Veterinary Medical Foundation
- Emergency Animal Rescue Service – UAN-EARS
- Emergency Pet Preparedness – Natural Paws
- Find a Place to Stay – Pets Welcome
- Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared – American Red Cross
- Pets, Horses, Livestock – Horse Review
- Pets Need Disaster Plan, too – College of Vet Med, Illinois
- Remember Your Pets – FEMA
- Your Pet and Disaster Preparedness – The Pet Safety Center
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