The time to prepare your pets for hurricane season is now — before the storm! Here is your to-do list:
Never Leave Your Pet Behind.
It may seem obvious to pet owners to always take their pet with them in the event of an evacuation, but it can be a stressful time to make decisions especially if it’s in response to an emergency like flooding and structural damage to your shelter. Which is why it’s imperative to be prepared and have a plan. Whether its evacuation before the storm arrives, or having to leave your shelter during the storm due to flooding or damage, always remember to bring your pet.
Place two ID tags on your pet’s collar.Include a temporary tag with the phone number of a friend or relative who lives outside your immediate area. This will be helpful in the event you are separated from your pet and are a long distance away. You will also want to include your pet’s rabies tag.
Microchip your pet.In the event your pet is lost and has found a way out of their collar or if the tags to fall off, microchipping is the next step for placing lost animals back in their homes after a storm. If your pet isn’t microchipped, you can scheduled an appointment at a Pet Alliance of Orlando Veterinary Clinics in Sanford or Alafaya by calling (407) 351-7722. Make sure their chip registration is updated. Be sure to locate and update your microchip registry.
Prepare a Travel Kit for your pet.Make sure you pack enough food, bottled water, and needed prescriptions/medications to last at least two weeks. Include carriers, crates, bowls, towels, bathing supplies, flea/tick control, leashes, and toys.
Update Vaccinations.Make sure your pet is up-to-date on their vaccines as it is required for most storm shelters to show your pet’s records. Create a record file for each pet and store in a waterproof ziplock baggie or storage tub. Include, pet licenses/registrations and any other papers relating to your pet and their health are important to have on hand. Some of this information is required to board or helpful for a caretaker.
Carry a picture of you and your pet together.
A picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in case of a lost pet. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
Have Travel Carriers Handy for Evacuation.
Make your pet’s carrier or crate is a fun and safe space by placing treats, toys and meals in it on a routine basis.
Most Public Evacuation Shelters Do Not Accept Pets.Know ahead of time where your pet-friendly accommodations are whether it’s a shelter, hotel, etc. Visit gopetfriendly.com to locate hotels or call 3-1-1 to inquire about pet-friendly shelters in Orange County.
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando “PAWdcast” fosters conversation about animal welfare topics in the sheltering world and beyond.