Emergencies can be stressful on pets: it’s best to prepare now
September is National Preparedness Month. Spend time this month preparing yourself and your animals for a disaster or emergency that could strike at any time!
Do these things now:
Prepare to take your pets with you if you need to evacuate. Identify locations that may be able to house both you AND your animals. Not all emergency shelters accept animals. Advocate to your community leaders now for pet-friendly human sheltering options for those who need them.
Work with your neighbors to make a plan for your animals if an evacuation is ordered when you aren’t home and can’t return to get your pets. Don’t know your neighbors? Now is the time to introduce yourself!
Prepare small animals like cats and dogs to be ready to evacuate by training them to come when called and getting them used to being in a crate. Work with large animals such as horses to get them used to moving in and out of trailers in case you need to move them quickly.
Create and maintain “go kits” for your pets. Find a list of items to include at www.ready.gov/pets.
Keep your pets’ vaccines up to date. In an emergency, your pets may need to go to a home with other animals or stay at a temporary shelter. Plan now to help protect them from disease.
Check that your pets’ tags and microchips have correct information, and that your dogs are licensed. If your pets are not yet microchipped, talk with your vet about this permanent form of identification. You could easily be separated from your animals during a disaster.
Finally, take photos. Photograph any unique markings, or anything that makes your pet different from similar-looking animals. Snap a photo of you with them, too. These photos will be helpful if you are ever separated.
Emergencies are stressful. Do what you can to prepare now.
For more information on this topic and more, please visit The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave or visit our website: www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us.