With Hurricane Sandy expected to affect much of the northeast coastal states early next week, AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) reminds pet owners to have a safety plan in place for their pets, whether evacuating or remaining at home.
“Since 2003, the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund has been active in donating funds to aid displaced pets during times of natural disaster, so we know first-hand that proper emergency planning ahead of time can help save pets’ lives,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Companion Animal Recovery CEO. “We encourage pet owners to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, and put plans in place for staying at home or for the need to evacuate.”
If remaining at home:
- Keep the following items handy: your pet’s health records, rabies tag information 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 collar and leash.
- Never leave your pet at home. Most evacuations last only a few days, but sometimes you may not be able to return to your home quickly. The safest place for your pet to be is with you. Be prepared to take your pet with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy crate or carrier ready for transporting.
- Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. AKC CAR also recommends permanent identification, such as a microchip, along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. Be sure to keep your contact information current. Pack a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more about microchips and pet recovery services.
- If you plan to go to a hotel, call ahead to make sure your pet is 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 the hotel’s website, but you may also want to call to be sure.
- Keep copies of your dog’s license, vaccination documents and health records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container. Also include a picture of you and your pet together that can be used for identification in the case that you become separated during an emergency.
More tips on how to prepare your pets for emergencies can be found on the AKC Website at http://www.akc.org/news/disaster_preparedness/.
In addition to disaster relief, AKC CAR’s Canine Support and Relief Fund awards annual grants in disaster preparedness and to volunteer K-9 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams.