Prepare your pets NOW for an emergency

Prepare your pets NOW for an emergency



Spend time this month preparing yourself and your animals for a possible disaster or emergency.


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, like pet-friendly hotels or the home of a friend or family member. 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.
  • 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
  • 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 veterinarian about this permanent form of identification.
  • Finally, take photos. Photograph 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 reduce the stress by preparing now.


The Animal Services Academy returns this October!

Calling all animal lovers and advocates! You are invited to join Washington County Animal Services and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter for the Animal Services Academy this fall.

This free two-day training will take place Saturdays, October 7 and 14 in Downtown Hillsboro and is open to anyone 16 years or older who lives in Washington County.

The goal of the Academy is to help community members understand how Animal Services and the shelter work and to empower you to share animal-related resources and information with your friends, neighbors and online networks.

Over the course of the training, you’ll learn about everything from what happens to animals while they are at the shelter to how you personally can help get lost pets back home. Presentations from a variety of Animal Services staff members will also include a detailed look at how our officers investigate abuse and neglect, how you can prepare you and your pets for a disaster, and information on careers and current trends in animal welfare.


For more information on these topics and more, please visit The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email