A pet owner guide to getting through hurricane season
As Hurricane Dorian approaches, your pets will rely on you for safety. Do you have everything they need?
According to the Fritz Institute, during hurricane Katrina 44% of people who chose not to evacuate did so because they did not want to abandon their pets. However, over 100,000 pets were left behind, and more than 70,000 died.
For starters, make sure all cats and dogs are wearing securely fastened collars with up-to-date identification.Many shelters require proof of vaccinations, so do not forget your pet ́s current vaccine records.
If possible, microchipped your furry friend, bring them in so you know where they are if you need to leave quickly, and have a leash or a carrier nearby.
If it’s not safe for you to stay at home, it’s not safe for your pet either. In case of evacuation, the Red Cross recommends having an emergency kit for your four-legged friend and making sure your local shelter or hotel accepts animals.
Most American Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety concerns. The only pets allowed in their facilities are service animals that assist people with disabilities.
That is why, the FDA reminds pet owners to contact the local emergency management agency for information about which emergency shelters allow pets.
According to the Louisiana SPCA, your pets should have supplies to be able to sustain them for up to at least five days.
That is where the emergency kit comes into play. It is a bag full of supplies your four-legged friends may need to get through the hurricane season.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends using a rescue sticker alert. An orange-white-gray badge shaped sticker that shows how many pets live in your house, their species, and your contact information.
Make sure to place it in a visible place -like a first floor window. If you have to evacuate with your pets, write “EVACUATED” across the stiker so rescue workers know to not look for your pets.