Emergency management reminders for pet owners
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MURRAY, UT (Feb. 25, 2019) -- Pet owner tips for natural disasters, emergency preparedness
After experiencing recent earthquake activity in the Bluffdale, Utah area, the Humane Society of Utah is sharing the following tips to keep your pets safe in case of an emergency. It is important to include your furry family member in all of your disaster preparedness and emergency planning, and we strongly recommend creating an emergency pack with essential information and items for your family and pets. A little planning on behalf of your household pet or service animal can help reduce injury, loss and suffering during a disaster.
If a situation is unsafe for you or your family members, it is unsafe for your pets. Evacuation shelters such as schools rarely accept pets, and local animal control services can fill up quickly during a natural disaster or another emergency. A list of pet-friendly hotels, family, friends and pet sitters that can help during an emergency is helpful to keep in your prepared emergency pack.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees a service animal may remain with the person served in any public accommodation, including a shelter set up in response to a disaster, it does not ensure care, food and water, or veterinary services during an evacuation.
Prepare a disaster kit that contains information and items you can use at home or take with you in case of evacuation. Make sure it is easy to retrieve, contents are checked twice a year, and food and water are replaced every two months. Suggested items include:
7-days worth of bottled water for each pet.
7-days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food for each pet.
Pet feeding dishes and water bowls.
Extra collars and tags, harnesses and leashes for all pets.
Copies of pet medical and vaccination records.
A 2-week supply of medication and copy of any current prescriptions.
A recent photo of you with your pet.
A crate or traveling carrier large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.
Disposable litter trays with litter for cats and extra cage liners for dogs.
Tools and supplies for sanitation and waste cleanup.
Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include).
Some circumstances may force you to leave your pet or service animal behind. This is only a last resort and may decrease the animal’s chances for survival. Clearly post labels for rescue workers about the animals they will encounter along with your contact information.
Prevent loss by ensuring your pet is appropriately identified by a collar with tag and permanent microchip updated with current contact information.
Additional tips to safeguard your animal include obedience training for dogs, keeping your pet’s vaccinations current, keeping current records of ownership, and special equipment or supplies for birds or exotic pets. Purchase a generator if an animal requires a continuous supply of power.
When the disaster has passed, check your animals for injury and exposure to chemicals and contact a veterinarian if needed. Do not remove the animal from its crate until you are in a closed room where it is calm. Do not go out until the environment is safe for you and your pet.
If you and your pet are separated, pay daily visits to local shelters, animal control facilities, veterinary offices and kennels. If you find a stray animal, take it to a shelter or other facility set up for lost and found animals.