Hurricane Pet Tips & Pet Friendly Shelters

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
Operation Hours during Hurricane Irma

  • Pet Alliance will be CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1st to November 30th. Be prepared with these tips from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

Download our Hurricane Preparedness Sheet (PDF)
Download our Hurricane Preparedness Sheet (PDF)

Are you and your pet prepared?

  1. Never leave your pet behind.
  2. The safest place for your pet is with you! If you must evacuate, take your pet along.
  3. 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.
  4. Microchip your pet and make sure the chip registration is updated. Be sure to locate and update your microchip registry.
  5. Prepare a travel kit for your pet. Include bowls, food, bottled water, towels, needed prescriptions, bathing supplies, flea/tick control, and leashes.
  6. Make sure your pets are current on vaccinations.
  7. Create a record file for each pet. Include your pet’s vaccination records.
  8. Always travel with photographs of your pet.
  9. Have travel carriers handy for evacuation. Make your pet’s carrier a fun and safe place by placing treats, toys and meals in it on a routine basis.
  10. Most public evacuation shelters do not accept pets. Know ahead of time pet friendly accommodations. Visit ‘Bring Fido‘ to locate pet friendly accommodations, and view our map below for area shelters that do allow them.
  11. Take your dogs on a long walk before the storm.
  12. Keep your pets routine as normal as possible (feeding time and potty time
  13. Bonus tip: you can buy a small area of fake grass and a baby pool and put in the garage for them to use the bathroom during the storm.

For the latest storm information, visit the National Hurricane Center.

Keep checking back for more tips, first-hand accounts, and more, designed to help pet owners be prepared for hurricane season.

You can help a pet in need by supporting the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, donate today!

Pet Friendly Shelters

Below is a map of Pet Friendly shelters in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia and Brevard counties:

If you do take your pet to a shelter, remember:

  • Shelters are first-come, first-served, so get there early.
  • You must have the pet in a carrier or cage.
  • You must provide proof of current vaccinations.
  • Bring Food, water and serving containers.

The shelter locations in the map above where current as of 9/5/2017 and may change. Please view your county website for full shelter information:

Osceola County
Seminole County
Orange County
Lake County
Brevard County
Volusia County

Pet Alliance to Shelter Victims Pets

On June 12, 2016, our community experienced a tragic act of terrorism and hatred that has deeply impacted us all.  At Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, our sincerest condolences go out to the families that are directly affected by this senseless violence.

For the past 80 years, it has been our honor to provide care and support for cats and dogs that need our help.  There may be victims that have pets that need care and shelter. We realize that not every family or friend will be able to care for a beloved dog or cat that may have lost its owner.

If you are aware of such a pet, please contact Ashleigh Bizzelle at Pet Alliance at 407-418-0906.  We will provide short-term care for those hospitalized or assist families with alternative permanent arrangements if needed.

If you have general questions about how you can assist, please contact the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando at 407-351-7722.

Again, our sympathies and prayers are with each of the families during this time.


Download the full release (PDF)


About Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

As the go-to pet experts for Central Florida, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando does good things for dogs and cats and the people who love them. Formerly the SPCA of Central Florida, the organization’s goal is to provide compassionate and knowledgeable services for pets and to be leaders in innovative animal care and veterinary medicine. More than 7,000 homeless dogs and cats turned to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for caring, compassion, and hope through its two animal shelters last year. Highly skilled veterinarians will help and heal an additional 45,000 animals through two veterinary clinics. Providing shelter for animals in crisis, disaster response efforts, and pet food pantry programs for dogs and cats in need, thousands of additional animals are helped each year. Visit for more information.

Check the Chip Day is August 15

Millions of pets go missing each year, and while we hope it never happens to your furry friend a microchip can significantly improve the chance of their safe return.

That’s why we’re inviting you to celebrate ‘Check the Chip Day’ on Monday, August 15.  This is the perfect time to update your pets microchip registration or get your pet microchipped if they are not already.

Keep reading below as we address the many misconceptions about microchips.


What is a pet microchip?
The purpose of the microchip is to provide a form of permanent identification. These microchip implants are called RFID tags, (Radio Frequency Identification). They are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, and are passive. This means that they passively store a unique identification number and do not actively transmit any information. The microchip implanted in your pet has no battery and no internal power source, so it sits inertly in the pet until it is read by a special microchip scanner.

How will the microchip help my pet get home?
Most, if not all, humane societies and animal shelters now have universal microchip readers, and scan all animals that come into their care. If a lost pet is brought to a veterinary clinic, the veterinary staff will use their reader to check for a microchip. The reader will detect the electronic code embedded in the chip and display the identification number on its screen. The registration database is then checked for this identification number (either online or by telephone), and the pet owner’s contact information is retrieved.

Once my pet has been microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?
Yes, you must register the number with the appropriate agency. Your veterinarian will provide you with the documents and contact information and will tell you if any fees are required.

Although the implanted microchip will continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any need for maintenance, the system won’t work unless you keep your contact information current. If you move or change your telephone number, make sure you update the information with the registration agency. Remember to also get new ID tags for your pet at the same time.

You can search the AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip database using your pets microchip number

microchipcatHow is the microchip put into my pet?

Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder is the same as that shown on the package bar code label. Next, the needle containing the microchip is loaded into the application gun or syringe. For pets, the standard site for microchip placement is in the subcutaneous tissue between the shoulder blades. The loose skin between the shoulder blades is gently pulled up, and the needle is quickly inserted. After insertion, the pet is scanned to make sure that the chip is reading properly.

How long does it take?
The procedure is fast, taking about the same amount of time it takes to give any other injection. It takes more time to do the registration paperwork than it does to implant the microchip.

Is it painful to my pet?
It hurts about as much as having blood drawn. The chips are usually inserted without incident in awake animals, even in the tiniest kitten. Some clients choose to have the microchip implanted when their pet is spayed or neutered so that the pet can be anesthetized for the injection, but this is not necessary; the microchip can be implanted at any time that is convenient.

blog5dMy pet never goes outdoors. Does he need a microchip?
Even the most responsible pet owners cannot ensure that their pet won’t get lost. Although most indoor pets tend to stay indoors, there is always a possibility that they can escape if somebody opens a door at the wrong time, if they manage to push through loose window screen if something petches their attention outside, or if there is an emergency situation where the home has to be evacuated. Indoor pets that are not familiar with the great outdoors can become very frightened in these situations and may not be able to figure out how to get back home.

My pet already wears a collar with a tag on it. Does she need a microchip?
If your pet gets lost or picked up by animal control, the more types of identification that she has the better. Although collars are a very visible form of identification, they can accidentally fall off or be intentionally removed. Furthermore, if you have a collar on your pet, it should be a breakaway type so that it doesn’t get caught on anything and cause an injury. In addition, the information on the tag is legible when the tag is new, but as it gets old and worn it may become unreadable. This means that your pet’s collar is not a permanent form of identification.

My pet has a tattoo. Does he need a microchip?
While tattoos are permanent, in reality they aren’t always that helpful as a form of identification. The first problem with tattoos is that they become faded over time, making them difficult to read correctly. The second, more important problem is that there are no common databases for tattoo information, so any information about the pet and its owner can be difficult to trace.

The benefits of microchips are that they cannot be misread, and the identification number is tamper-proof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable from the database.

Is there anything else I should know?

Millions of pets get lost every year, and pets that do not have microchips have less than a 5% chance of being reunited with their families. Pets with microchips were found to be more than twenty times as likely to be reunited with their families. The main reasons that owners weren’t found if the pet was microchipped were that the telephone number was incorrect or disconnected, or the owners did not return the phone call or letter from the finder.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando offers free or reduced microchipping at both our Orlando and Sanford clinics for just $30.

Hurricane Katrina: Rescuing Animals

By Executive Director, Kerri Burns

August 2005: I had been watching the weather reports and preparing our team to deploy in case Hurricane Katrina did hit land. There had been so many hurricanes before that had been predicted to hit land at a higher category than it actually did. So we did not expect this to be much different, but then again that is why they are called disasters. You can’t predict the wrath.

Our team was deployed to be in the field and rescue the animals that were left behind after the flooding. I remember the horrible smells and sights as we went from house to house in boats, trucks, by foot, whatever means allowed us in the areas to check for any animals that may have been alive.

Some animals had been sitting for days on top of overturned dressers or any furniture that was above the water line in hopes their family would come back for them. Many people and animals lost their lives during this disaster. But the biggest reward was finding an animal, seeing the trust and thankfulness in their eyes, and getting them safely back to the temporary shelter. They were safe and cared for by thousands of volunteers. The ultimate joy was when the owner and pet was reunited after such a long separation and a complete unknowing if they’d ever see each other again.

Each day I would walk through the shelter and think to myself, what if this was my animal? How would I feel and how would my “child,” my dog, feel? It broke my heart when I allowed myself to step into either one of those shoes or paws. The teams and volunteers rescued about 10,000 animals in that one disaster and many were reunited with their families and others were up for adoption.

Simple lessons learned:

  • Hug your pets everyday
  • Have a plan to take your animal with you if you are evacuating your home. Have food, water, medications, etc. ready to go at a moment’s notice
  • Micro-chip your animals and keep all information updated
  • Have an out of state phone number along with your phone number listed on the tag
  • They will miss you more than you know if they are separated from you and their home
  • Animals can go into depression and be afraid just like humans and show just as much joy and love as humans
  • Live in a state that there are no disasters (just kidding about this one)

Many things in regard to how animals are treated during times of disaster have changed since hurricane Katrina, but the first step in keeping a pet safe starts with you.