L.A. residents urged to evacuate from wildfires with pets

Discussion in 'Pet related News stories' started by Pippin, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Pippin

    Pippin Member

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    As wildfires surge around the Los Angeles basin, pet owners need to take special care that their charges are safe. Most important is to take pets with you if you're evacuated, says Heather Case, the American Veterinary Medicine Association's coordinator of emergency preparedness and response.
    "Everyone should be thinking 'How am I going to transport my pets?'" she says. "Take the order to evacuate seriously. Animals, because they're smaller than we are, are quite sensitive to smoke."


    In past years during wildfires in California, animal e-mail lists "have gone crazy" but they're strangely silent this time, says Christie Keith, a contributing editor to the blog PetConnection.com. "It's been very different from previous fires where people had been clamoring for help with their pets," she says. "Maybe because it's such a more populated area people are following the evacuation orders. Or maybe five hours from now this is going to explode."


    So best to be prepared. For cats, that includes having a carrier large enough to accommodate a temporary litter box, even a makeshift one that will work a few days, Case says. For dogs, leashes and collars are a must. Even the most well-behaved dog will need one in the confusion and excitement of an evacuation setting.



    Identification for animals is crucial, in case they become separated from their owners. "Ideally, your pet is micro chipped," Case says. Failing that, some pet shops make tags while you wait. Owners in fire zones should think of including both their cell phone number and the number of someone well away from the fire area, should cell phone coverage break down or the pet's owner be unable to respond.

    With the Los Angeles fires threatening the Mt. Wilson communications hub, it's possible that cell phone service in the area could be disrupted, making local cell phone numbers unreliable.


    For animals outside the evacuation areas, minimizing stress from smoke and the sound of helicopters, fire engines and general chaos is important.


    "Shut down the noise as much as you can," suggests Ricky Whitman, spokesperson for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. Sometimes running the air conditioner helps to mask outside sounds, and cut down on the smoke smell. "Pay attention to your animals behaviors, because some animals are very sensitive and others don't seem to care quite so much," she says.


    Several groups are offering to take in animals who need to be boarded during the fires. They include the Casitas Hotel for Cats in Glendale, which can only take cats, and the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, which is taking cats, dogs and some wildlife. The Kitty Liberation Front provides details on local shelters that are accepting both cats and dogs.


    The Humane Society's national site has checklists and our earlier post details U.S. government's plans on how to evacuate animals.


    Source
     
  2. Pippin

    Pippin Member

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    Wildfires are tearing through Texas and two tropical storms are threatening parts of the USA . A hurricane is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean.What does this mean for you and your pets?
    If you need to evacuate your home, you want to take them with you to a shelter or hotel rather than leave them at home. In order to expedite that, your emergency plans need to include:


    Updated immunization records, medications, a carrier or cage, collar and leash, and ample food and water, according to the U.S. government's pet plan for hurricane preparedness.
     
  3. Pippin

    Pippin Member

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    How to plan to evacuate your pet in a disaster or emergency

    Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an emergency.

    BEFORE THE DISASTER


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    Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.
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    Have a current photograph
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    Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.
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    Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal - carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
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    Plan your evacuation strategy and don't forget your pet! Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm's way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.

    If you plan to shelter your pet - work it into your evacuation route planning.



    DURING THE DISASTER


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    Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have: Proper identification collar and rabies tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up.
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    Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm - reassure them and remain calm.
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    Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis. Call ahead and determine availability.



    AFTER THE DISASTER

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    Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home - often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
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    If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. Bring along a picture of your pet if possible.
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    After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive - monitor their behavior.

    Don't forget your pet when preparing a family disaster plan.

    PET DISASTER SUPPLY KIT

    • Proper identification including immunization records
    • Ample supply of food and water
    • A carrier or cage
    • Medications
    • Muzzle, collar and leash



    ADDITIONAL LINKS

    • The HUMANE SOCIETY Disaster Center
    FEMA - Animals and Emergencies
    • Locate PET-FRIENDLY Hotels & Motels


    Source
     
  4. Daniel7

    Daniel7 Member

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    Wow, this is crazy stuff.
     

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