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PetsAnimals and Natural DisastersIn a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for TravelCrates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.Create a Pet Emergency KitBe ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.Create a Pet Travel KitBe ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.Farm Animals and Natural DisastersFarm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.If You Find a Lost PetIf you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.Managing Your Pet's Separation AnxietyDogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.Adopting a PetThere are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare FacilityWhether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.Choosing a Pet GroomerGrooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.Protect Your PetSafety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!Choosing a Pet TrainerWhether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!Choosing a VetThe best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.Traveling by Air with PetsMore than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.Finding Pet-Friendly HotelsChoosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.Help My Pet's MissingIf your pet disappears, here's what to do.Traveling by Car with PetsRoad trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!Pets and Disaster PreparednessBecause they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.
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Pets and Disaster Preparedness

Because they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.

Plan Ahead

Vaccinate your pet. If you haven't already done so, get those shots now. Infectious diseases can become a big threat after a disaster.

Consider having your pet tattooed or "microchipped."

Buy a properly fitted collar and attach his current license and rabies tags, an identification tag with your name, address, and phone number (preferably cell). If a pet becomes lost or escapes during the confusion of an evacuation, proper identification will increase the chances of a safe return home.

WHN Tip: If your dog normally wears a chain link "choker" collar, have a leather or nylon collar available if you have to leave him alone for several days.

Take clear, color photos (front, left and right sides) of your pet, and store these with your pet's license, medical and vaccination records and ownership papers in a waterproof carrier to take with you.

Know what to do. Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, and veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency.

Decide on a safe location(s) in your house where you could leave your pet in an emergency.

Find other facilities that will accept you and your pet, or your pet, if you have to evacuate. Options:

  • Animal boarding facilities
  • Pet-friendly hotels and motels
  • Veterinarians and other animal care providers
  • Local animal shelters (may also provide information about other locations)
  • Friends and relatives outside the affected area

WHN Tip: If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.

WHN Tip: Pets and Disaster Shelters
"
One of the biggest misconceptions about pets and disasters is that they are included in government/municipal evacuation plans. That's not always the case. As we saw after Hurricane Katrina, people are sometimes encouraged by authorities to leave their pets behind. Similarly, when people become displaced and evacuate with their pets, people assume any help they receive will extend to their pets as well. In most cases, pets, for fear of disease, disruption, etc. aren't allowed in evacuation shelters. Your pet may be forced to go somewhere else. Take it upon yourself to be responsible for your dog or cat, and never assume. Bring everything you can to help your pet survive and don't evacuate without your pet." Chris Cutter, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

When assembling an Home Grab-and-Go Kit emergency kit for the household, make one for your pet as well. (Go to Create a Pet Emergency Kit for information on what to include.)

Typical items:

  • Carrier or crate for your pet
  • Copy of medical records and microchip information
  • Extra food (The food should be dry and relatively unappealing to prevent your pet from over-eating. Store the food in sturdy containers.)
  • Extra medication(s)
  • Current photograph in your kit, in case you're separated from your pet.
  • Kitty litter
  • Large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser
  • Leash and collar
  • Water

Before The Storm

Be safe, be smart.

Bring your pets indoors as soon as there is a watch or warning issued.

If You Must Evacuate With Your Pet

Start calling emergency and shelter numbers to confirm if your pet can be admitted to the shelter.

Ask friends, relatives, or others outside of the affected area whether they could shelter your animals.

Carry pets in a sturdy carrier and bring food, water and other items in your pet emergency kit.

Bring proper identification, collars, leashes, and proof of vaccinations for all pets.

If You Must Evacuate Without Your Pet

If you absolutely must leave your pets behind, prepare an emergency area in the home that includes a three-day supply of dry food and a large container of fresh water.

Do not tie animals outside to trees or structures. Do not lock them in pens or cages. They may become scared or frightened and in danger of rising waters.

Leave a note with your name, the name of your pet(s), a telephone number or location where you can be reached, and the name and number of your vet.

After the Storm — Back Home

WHN Tip: After a disaster, if you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.

In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside.

Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home. Often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.

Watch out for snakes and other dangerous animals brought into the area with flood areas, or downed power lines.

The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

Missing Pets

Most dogs and cats will try to stay close to their homes, or will try to return to their homes even if the house was damaged or destroyed during the storm.

Your pets may be trapped in a basement or damaged room, or hiding in house debris. Do NOT attempt to go in a damaged home. Be smart and be safe. Try to check your house site by calling your pets' names often, and leaving food and water nearby to entice them out.

Contact your local and state animal shelters and humane societies with descriptions of your pets, and visit the shelters to see if your pets have been found.

Found Pets

If your pet has injuries, be very careful handling it. Use a blanket to cover and wrap the animal before you try to move it. This will help prevent injury to you and the animal. Even if it knows you, your pet may bite and scratch you due to fear and pain.

If your pet has been injured or suffered frostbite from a storm, it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Your pet especially needs access to clean water at this time.

If you do not have access to pet food, a temporary dietary substitute for dogs, cats and reptiles is a 50-50 mixture of a protein food such as hamburger, chicken or cottage cheese, mixed with a starch such as rice, potatoes or pasta.

If your pet is not injured, consider giving it a bath since it may have been exposed to dirt, refuse and contaminated water. This is also a way to check for cuts and other smaller injuries.

If your pet has died or you have dead animals on your property, follow the advice from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the handling and disposition of dead pets.

Additional Information

The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization representing more than 9 million members and constituents. The nonprofit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country.

Other Life Pages
PetsAdopting a Pet

There are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.

 Read More
Animals and Natural Disasters

In a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.

 Read More
Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare Facility

Whether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.

 Read More
Choosing a Pet Groomer

Grooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.

 Read More
Choosing a Pet Trainer

Whether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!

 Read More
Choosing a Vet

The best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.

 Read More
Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for Travel

Crates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.

 Read More
Create a Pet Emergency Kit

Be ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.

 Read More
Create a Pet Travel Kit

Be ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.

 Read More
Farm Animals and Natural Disasters

Farm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.

 Read More
Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

Choosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.

 Read More
Help My Pet's Missing

If your pet disappears, here's what to do.

 Read More
If You Find a Lost Pet

If you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.

 Read More
Managing Your Pet's Separation Anxiety

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.

 Read More
Pets and Disaster Preparedness

Because they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.

 Read More
Protect Your Pet

Safety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!

 Read More
Traveling by Air with Pets

More than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.

 Read More
Traveling by Car with Pets

Road trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!

 Read More