Did you know that March 2-8 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week? Have you stopped to think about what your pets would need should severe weather hit our area? It is not a good idea to leave your pets behind in severe weather – many animals will not survive. Instead, take some time now to think about a plan for your pets in a weather emergency. Is there a family or friend you could leave them with? Or if you end up taking them to a shelter, be aware that some shelters will not allow pets so plan accordingly.
Know the items your pet could need most urgently, and store them in a place that’s easy to find in a hurry. For example, include medications or other medical supplies, microchip identification number, proof of vaccinations (especially rabies vaccine!), and pertinent medical records, to name a few. Also have collars, leashes, and/or crates ready and available for transport and safe keeping. Comfort items (toys, blankets, treats) can help comfort your pets during this stressful time.
If you are separated from your pet, having a picture of your pet can facilitate identification. If your pet is wearing an identification tag and/or is microchipped, those items can also increase the chances of you being reunited.
Some incredibly helpful information has been developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in consultation with the American Kennel Club (AKC), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and The Humane Society of the United States.
We encourage you to also check out these links for in depth discussions and a helpful brochure:
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS