We’ve all seen the amazing rescue of pets left behind in Hurricane Harvey. There have also been videos of animals that were unable to be rescued due to their aggression brought on by distress and fear. Preparing for your pets in a hazardous weather event is important. For many, pets are members of the family, but for shelters, it is often humans first. Knowing how to take care of your pets in the event that Hurricane Irma makes landfall or evacuation orders are put in place can mean the difference in keeping them safe and losing them altogether.
Plan for Your Pets
Just as you plan for your human family members, you need to plan for your pets. Do not assume that they will be permitted into any shelter you choose. Before the storm hits, locate pet-friendly hotels that you may evacuate to. Locate boarding facilities along your route or in towns that are presumed to be safe. Think about asking a friend or relative who lives out of town to keep your pets.
Identification and Information
Ask your veterinarian for your pets’ medical records and keep these with you. Have your pets microchipped if they aren’t already. Make sure that your pets have identification on their collars.
You will be making an emergency kit for your family, so make sure you make one for your pets as well. You should have a three-day supply of food and water for each pet. Take medications that your pet is on, registration information and medical records. Keep a picture of you and your pet with you. In the event that you are separated, this can help to prove that you are your pet’s owner.
Your pet will likely be stressed and anxious. Packing a favorite toy or blanket can help alleviate these feelings. Pack an extra collar and leash in the event that your originals are damaged or destroyed.
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