If you are evacuated, bring your pets with you if possible. Pets left behind can be lost, injured or killed. Do your homework ahead of time to find friends, family or a hotel willing to accept animals if an evacuation is ordered. Some hotels and motels may lift their “no pet” restrictions in an emergency, so check into this policy in advance.
All pet owners should have an emergency supply kit for their animals to include:
- A five-day supply of food, drinking water, and bowls
- Current photos
- Plastic bags
- Identification tags and collars
- Medications, medical records, license and first aid supplies
- Blankets or towels for bedding and warmth
- Leashes, harnesses and a sturdy carrier large enough for animals to comfortably sleep
- Cat owners also need cat litter, a litter box and a carrier large enough to comfortably house cats for several days and allowing separate areas for elimination and feeding
For more information on the disaster plan supported by HSUS, you can click here. For further information on local disaster shelters for your pet, call the Flagler County Agricultural Center at 437-7464.
Safety requires control and leashes are a wonderful control tool because they set boundaries for dogs. A dog that runs loose has no reason to respect another. A dog that runs free can, in a split second, decide to dash into the street, chase another person, dog, car, cat, or just plain take off. “But, my dog will stay right with me.” That can be a dangerous assumption!
Dogs who walk off leash are free to do anything you may – or may not – want them to do! Other loose dogs, strays, or wild animals may tangle with your dog. You have no control. On leash, you still may not have control over another animal, but on-leash control could help prevent the encounter in the first place. Dogs are very instinctive and reactive. If a running squirrel, cat, or rabbit crosses your path, the dog’s chase instinct kicks in. There is never any guarantee that voice control will stop the chase! A strange noise or movement can instantly lead your dog into a non-thinking, reactive dash, leaving him at risk for accidental injury, or mistreatment by someone who perceives him as being a nuisance or aggressive. Unless they’re in an adequately confined area, such as a fenced yard, leashing is essential to keeping your pet safe.
Always keep current identification on your pet. ID tags are inexpensive and easy to obtain. Microchipping is another option to consider, though it should not be considered a substitute for a traditional collar and tag because it can only be detected by a scanner used in a vet hospital or shelter. Microchipping is a permanent, sterile, encapsulated microchip, about the size of a single grain of rice implanted between the shoulder blades of a pet using a quick, non-surgical process (similar to that used for vaccination). The chip’s ID code is traced to the owner using a national database. For details on our microchipping service, please click here.
Keep several copies of your pet’s photo on hand. Call local animal shelters and vets and file a report. If your pet is missing, begin to search immediately. The sooner you begin, the greater the chance you will recover your pet.