|Franklin County Emergency
CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEALING WITH YOUR PETS IN AN EMERGENCY!
Make arrangements for your pets as part of your household disaster
planning. If you must evacuate you home, it's always best to take
your pets with you. If, as a last resort, you have to leave your
pets behind, make sure you have a plan to ensure their care.
For health and space reasons, PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED in public emergency
shelters. However, in most states, trained guide dogs for persons
with disabilities will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters
with their owners. Here are some special tips for dealing with
your pets in an emergency or disaster.
- Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian
or emergency management office for information on caring for pets
in an emergency. Find out if there will be any shelters set-up
to take pets in an emergency.
- Decide on safe locations in your house where you could leave
your pet in an emergency. Set up two separate locations if you
have cats and dogs. Avoid choosing rooms with hazards such as
windows, hanging plants or pictures in large frames. Consider
areas that are easy to clean such as bathrooms or utility rooms.
- Buy a pet carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn
around inside. Train your pet to become comfortable with the carrier.
- If your pet is on medication or a special diet, find out from
your veterinarian what you should do in case you have to leave
it alone for several days. Try to get an extra supply of medications.
- Make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar that includes
the current license and rabies tags. 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.
- Keep your pet's shots current and know where the records are.
Most kennels require proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations
before accepting a pet.
- Contact motels and hotels in communities outside of your area
and find out if they will accept pets in an emergency.
- When assembling emergency supplies for the household, include
items for the pets.
- When an emergency or disaster appears imminent bring your
pets inside immediately. Animals have instincts about severe weather
changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid.
Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never
leave your pet outside or tied up during a storm.
- If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pet
with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
- Birds must eat daily to survive. In an emergency, you may
have to leave your birds behind. Talk with your veterinarian or
local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the
amount of food a bird is given. Make sure the bird is caged and
the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security
and filtered light.
- The behavior of your pet may change after an emergency or
disaster. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive
or defensive. Watch animals closely.
- In the first few days after a disaster, leash your pets when
they go outside. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered
and your pet may become confused and lost.