PETS, SERVICE ANIMALS AND LIVESTOCK
If you have pets, service animals or livestock, it's important to include them in your emergency planning. As you begin to think about disaster preparedness for your animals, keep in mind that what's best for you is usually what's best for your animals. If you evacuate your home, DO NOT leave your pets behind. However, because many public shelters will not allow any pets inside except for service animals, you should plan ahead for different shelter options that will work for both you and your pets. Below are some guidelines to help you prepare to meet the needs of your pets, service animals and livestock during an emergency.
PETS, SERVICE ANIMALS
- Talk to your veterinarian about evacuation and emergency care for your animals.
- Develop a buddy system with trusted neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is able to care for or move your pets if you are unable to do so
- For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot take pets. As you prepare your emergency plan, make sure you find an emergency animal shelter in your area (kennels, adjoining farms, state and local fairgrounds, Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team, etc).
- Know ahead of time which hotels will accept pets.
- Have a portable crate, collar and leash ready for your pets.
- Keep all vaccinations (shots) up to date.
- Make sure you have more than one way to identify your pets (like having a dog license and microchip). Identification tags should be up to date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. You may also want to have your veterinarian give your pets microchips and/or tattoos as a more permanent way to identify them.
- Have a copy of medical records and a list of necessary medicines on hand. Make different lists for each of your pets.
- If you must leave animals behind, place a sign high on your house (like a window or door) that will be easy for rescuers to see. Make sure the sign includes the type and number of animals which remain. Leave plenty of food and water with feeding instructions for rescuers. Keep the animals in the safest part in your home for the type of emergency you are experiencing. For instance, if flooding is likely do not keep your animals in the basement.
- Prepare an evacuation plan for livestock. Your plan should include a list of resources such as trucks, trailers, pasture and/or feed which might be needed in an evacuation. The plan should also list a person or persons (along with their phone numbers) who will be able to unlock gates and doors and make it easy for emergency workers to reach your animals.
- Have halters and lead straps available.
- Have a copy of medical records and a list of necessary medicines on hand. Make different lists for each animal.
- If you must leave animals behind, place a sign high on the building (like a window or door) that will be easy for rescuers to see. Make sure the sign includes the type and number of the animals which remain. Leave plenty of food and water with feeding instructions for rescuers.