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Louisiana SPCA urges pet owners to prepare for hurricane season: Don’t leave home without them!

Written by  Louisiana SPCA
With hurricane season fast approaching, the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA) urges New Orleans pet owners to create an advance evacuation plan that includes pets. Pets are members of the family and should be included in disaster preparations.
 
For households with pets, it is pertinent to include your animals in your evacuation plans and to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your pet behind. Leaving your pet tied-up outside to a tree or fence is not an option. Leaving your pet alone indoors is risky due to flood water from storm surges that can trap your animal in a house filling quickly with water. 
Just like other members of your household, emergency planning for your pets requires supplies and advance preparation. The supplies you gather should be able to provide for your pet for at least three days. For the safety of your pets and for your own peace of mind, the LA/SPCA advises the following procedures in advance of hurricane season:
 
- Current vaccinations – Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. Make copies of your records to take with you. All boarding facilities and veterinarian offices require proof of immunization before accepting animals.
 
- Identification – Update your pet’s ID tags if needed. Talk to your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. This simple step could be your pet’s round-trip ticket home in the event they get lost.
 
- Compile a list of places to go – Consider staying with family or friends who reside outside of the affected area and are comfortable with pets, or look into pet-friendly hotels, shelters or boarding facilities outside of the hurricane strike zone. The LA/SPCA does not board animals.
 
What your pet needs for an evacuation:
 
- Food and water – Keep food in an airtight, waterproof container. Water should be in addition to the water you need for yourself and family.
 
- Medicine and medical records – Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. All boarding facilities and veterinarian offices require proof of immunization before accepting animals.
 
- Collar with ID tags, harness or leash – Your pet should always wear a collar with an up-to-date rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clear plastic bag or waterproof container. Talk to your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
 
- Crate or other pet carrier – Get a portable, secure and covered pet carrier in advance. The carrier should be large enough so your pet can completely turn around and lie down. Mark your name, address, phone number and alternate contact information on the carrier.
 
- Sanitation – Include pet litter, small litter box, newspaper, towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners. Use 16 drops of regular bleach per gallon of water.
 
New Orleans residents who require assistance to evacuate are urged to register with the City to participate in the City Assisted Evacuation Plan. This plan includes both residents and their pets. Citizens can register by calling 311. When a mandatory evacuation is called, pick-up points throughout the City will be announced where citizens can go and board buses that will take them to the evacuation departure points. Pet owners must evacuate with their pets on City provided transportation; animal drop-offs are not permitted.
 
For more information about how to prepare for hurricane season as a pet owner, visit www.la-spca.org/disaster, www.nola.gov/ready or call 1.800.BE.READY.    
  
The Louisiana SPCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. As the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state, the LA/SPCA provides care for over 20,000 homeless and companion animals annually. For more than 125 years, the LA/SPCA has been committed to serving the needs of the people and animals in the community and across the region as a 4-Star Charity Navigator rated nonprofit ranking in the top 1 percent nationally. For more information, call 504.368.5191 or visit www.la-spca.org.
Last modified on Tuesday, 03 June 2014
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