As Gulf Coast families prepare for another hurricane season, it’s important to have a plan for the pets that rely on us for survival.
A quarter of a million animals were left behind during Hurricane Katrina and only 15,000 were rescued.
No matter what the emergency, it is critical that you take your pet with you. Animals left behind may be lost, injured or killed.
Many people were also killed during Katrina because they stayed home with their pets. Since then, Red Cross shelters have changed their policy to allow some pets, as long as they are in carriers.
Here is a pet checklist provided by the Houston Humane Society:
- Portable pet carrier for cats, small dogs, other small animals and birds. Clearly label the carrier with pet’s name, your name, address and phone number. Get pet(s) accustomed to carriers ahead of time. Keep in easily accessible place.
- One to two weeks supply of food and water in airtight containers. Check periodically and replace with fresh as needed.
- If you use canned food, hand-operated can opener.
- Food and water bowls for each animal
- One to two weeks supply of all medications your pet is taking clearly labeled with administrative instructions. Be sure to include flea preventative and heartworm treatment. Check these supplies periodically, and adjust and replenish, as needed.
- Dry towels or blanket to line carrier and use for bedding
- Roll of paper towels
- Plastic bags for pet droppings
- Your pet’s favorite treats and toys
- Litter and litter boxes for cats. Disposable litter boxes are available, but empty soft drink boxes or disposable aluminum pans are good alternatives.
- Health records, including vaccinations, in case of evacuation or the need to stay in boarding kennel or other facility
- Collar(s) with current identification tag and microchip
- Recent color photographs of each pet in case they get lost
- Check out boarding kennels beforehand and keep the names, phone numbers and addresses handy.
- Research pet-friendly hotels along evacuation routes and keep their names, phone numbers and addresses handy.
- Written instructions on caring for your pet in the event you must leave pet at the boarding kennel.
- Animal First Aid Kit (Ask your veterinarian what your pet will need)
Your pet will be under severe trauma during this time so keep his/her routines as familiar as possible.