With all the news about earthquakes and hurricanes recently, it’s always helpful to have your family prepared in case of an emergency or natural disaster. No doubt, for those of us that have pets, they too are considered part of the family and will need everything the two-legged family members need and more, so always have an emergency pet kit ready.
San Diego County Animal Services recommends these items in your emergency pet kit:
· A leash or harness and/or pet carrier (large enough for your pet to stand and turn-around in. If your dog is known to be aggressive or defensive around people, other animals or in unusual situations, make sure you include a muzzle. Also include & stake and tie-out for each dog.
· A properly fitting collar with affixed license and ID tags that list your current address and phone numbers.
o Dogs and cats should wear a collar and tag at all times, whether they normally go outdoors or not
o Microchip your pet for permanent identification and keep your information current with the microchip company and veterinarian.
· At least a week’s supply of food and water in transportable containers and sturdy food and water bowls. Also include a manual can opener for any canned food you might have for you or your pet.
· A copy of the most current veterinary records, including all vaccines and health certificates, as well as at least a week’s worth of medications and any supplies needed. Keep all these items in a water-proof container.
· A pet first-aid guide and supplies for wound cleaning and dressing and bandaging material
· Supplies to collect and dispose of pet waste. (I.e. plastic bags/containers, scoopers, cat litter etc.)
· Several recent photographs of your pets in case they should get lost
· NEVER leave your pet chained outside and if you evacuate your home, NEVER LEAVE YOUR PETS, you may not be able to return to them for an extended period of time. Structural damage to your home or animal enclosure may enable your pet to escape, or permit other animals, pests, or the elements to enter and injure or kill your pet.
If you have livestock, here are some things to think about:
· Map out your evacuation route or find any temporary boarding facilities in advance
· Horse owners should make sure the lead line and halter is kept with each horse
· Make sure all your horses or livestock have some kind of identification (microchipping, tagging, etc.)
· Make arrangements for suitable vehicles and trailers and make sure drivers are available to transport livestock
If your animals absolutely can’t come with you, know ahead of time which local shelters or rescues will take in or board animals during emergency situations. Also, maintain a current list of veterinarians and local organizations that may be able to provide emergency assistance, like The American Red Cross, animal control department or humane society. To make an emergency evacuation easier and less stressful for you and your animals, get all your animals (companion pets as well as livestock) accustomed to kennels/carriers and/or transport vehicles ahead of time and never wait until the last minute if evacuation is imminent. To help get you started preparing your kit, check out Ready America to help you prepare your whole family for disaster and here are the local animal shelters in San Diego County:
San Diego Region
5480 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92110-2887
2481 Palomar Airport Road
Carlsbad, CA 92011-1531
5821 Sweetwater Road
Bonita, CA 91902-2219
Stay prepared and stay safe everyone!