Q&A with the Animal Shelter: Prepping your pets for whatever comes next

Q&A with the Animal Shelter: Prepping your pets for whatever comes next


Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.


What can I do to prepare my pets for an emergency?

A disaster can strike at any time. From last year’s wildfires and smoke to Oregon’s recent heat wave, there are many reasons you may need to leave your home or move your animals. Washington County Animal Services wants you to plan ahead for your animals in case of an emergency.

Talk with friends and family to identify locations that may be able to house both you AND your animals if you need to evacuate. 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!

You can 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 in an emergency.

In addition to creating and maintaining “go kits” for the humans in your household, be sure to have the following items packed and ready to go for your pets:

  • At least a three-day supply of water and food to take with you (keep a ten-day supply in your home).
  • Containment and identification. Have a leash and collar with ID tags and County license for your dogs. Cats and other small pets should have carriers. All pets should be microchipped.
  • Litter supplies for cats or other small animals, waste pickup bags for dogs, and basic cleanup supplies for all pets.
  • Photos of your pets in case you get separated. Include a photo of you with your pet as another form of identification.
  • Medical records. Keep up-to-date copies of vaccine records and medical information on hand at home.
  • Pet first aid kit.

If you already have a go kit, great job! Just make sure to check it regularly and rotate the supplies and update information as necessary. Emergencies are stressful enough. Do what you can to prepare now.


For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. or call us at (503) 846-7041. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us