Keeping your pets safe before, during, after a storm

By Barbara A. Besteni, Managing Editor, Local10.com, barb@local10.com
Published On: Feb 11 2012 05:02:41 AM EST
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 12:36:07 PM EDT

Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an emergency.

BEFORE THE STORM

For a list of pet-friendly hotels and boarding kennels in Greater Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, and other surrounding areas that may accept your pet in the event of a hurricane, go to www.officialpethotels.com.

Visit the Humane Society of Broward County website for downloadable list of hotels and boarding facilities for your pets. Or call, (954) 266-6871.

To visit the Humane Society of Greater Miami Web site's hurricane section, click here.

Large Animal Registry: Besides taking the usual preparations that include having an ample supply of feed and water, owners are encouraged to register their large animals with the Broward County Large Animal Registry. Registration helps ensure that, in the aftermath of a storm or other emergency, large animals that get loose can be easily identified and returned to their owners.

To register a large animal, visit broward.org/hurricane and select the A-Z HURRICANE GUIDE from the left navigation, then click LARGE ANIMALS. Look for the link LARGE ANIMAL REGISTRY under “Before the Event.”

The first step is to create an account. Once the account has been established, select OWNER/ANIMAL INFO and register each large animal separately. There is no limit to the number of animals registered under an account. An owner contact phone number must to be entered for each animal registered.

For more information on Large Animals or hurricane preparedness, visit broward.org/hurricane.

Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.

Have a current photograph of your pet.

Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.

Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal - carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.

Plan your evacuation strategy and don't forget your pet! Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm's way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.

If you plan to shelter your pet - work it into your evacuation route planning.


DURING THE STORM

  • Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have: Proper identification collar and rabies tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up.
  • Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm - reassure them and remain calm.
  • Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis. Call ahead and determine availability.

AFTER THE STORM

  • Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home - often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. Bring along a picture of your pet if possible.
  • After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive - monitor their behavior.
  • Don't forget your pet when preparing a family disaster plan.

STORM SUPPLY KIT FOR PETS

  • Proper identification including immunization records
  • Ample supply of food and water
  • A carrier or cage
  • Medications
  • Muzzle, collar and leash

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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