As pet parents, we all understand the importance of providing our pets with the proper nutrition, exercise and care in order to ensure their health and happiness. Often overlooked, however, is the significance of planning for your pet’s safety and care in the event of an emergency.
Here in Sacramento, we know the threats and dangers associated with flooding, wildfires and earthquakes; and although many families are prepared for these events and may have detailed and practiced plans in place if a disaster were to strike, these plans often do not include specific instructions for making sure the family pet is looked after.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Pet parents should follow seven quick steps to ensure your pet’s safety during an emergency:
Ensure your pet can be identified by both a microchip and collar ID tag and that contact information is up-to-date.
- Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies in advance and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet. Never leave your pet behind.
- Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
- If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
Being prepared is the best step families can take to ensure people, and their pets, are ready to face an emergency together. Families looking to learn more about disaster preparedness and safety for their family (including pets) can visit the Ready Campaign website or the Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s website.
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