(Friday, August 26, 2011)
-- Storm to Affect East Coast Pet Owners --
With Hurricane Irene on track to affect much of the eastern seaboard this weekend, AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) reminds pet owners to have a plan in place for their pets, whether you’ll be evacuating or remaining at home.
“Since 2003, the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund has donated $1.5 million to help displaced companion animals during times of natural disaster, so we know first-hand that proper emergency planning can help save the life of your pet,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Companion Animal Recovery CEO. “We are pleased to offer the following tips to help pet owners prepare for Hurricane Irene.”
- Keep the following items handy: your pet’s health records and medications, food and water bowls, food for one week, at least one gallon of spring water per day per large dog, a portable kennel/crate, pet bedding, and a leash.
- In case of evacuation, don’t leave your pet at home. Most evacuations last only a few days, but there are times that you may not be able to return to your home quickly. The safest place for your pets is with you. Be prepared to take your pets with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy crate or carrier ready for transporting. Since Hurricane Katrina, the federal PETS Act now mandates that pets can be evacuated with their owners.
- Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. AKC CAR also recommends a permanent identification, such as a microchip, along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. Make sure to keep your contact information current with the pet recovery service. Pack a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more about microchips.
- If you plan to go to a hotel, call ahead to make sure your animals are welcome. Most hotels relax their pet policies during times of crises, but do not assume that will happen. Information concerning hotel pet-friendly policies is typically found on their website.
- Keep copies of your dog license, vaccination documents, health records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container. Also include a picture you and your pet together in the case you become separated during an emergency.
Additional tips on how to prepare your pets for emergencies can be found on the AKC Website at http://www.akc.org/news/disaster_preparedness/.