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Make arrangements for your pets as part of your household disaster planning. If you must evacuate your home, it's won't always be possible to take your pets with you. For health and space reasons, pets will not be allowed in public emergency shelters. If, as a last resort, you have to leave your pets behind, make sure you have a plan to ensure their care.

Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency. Find out if there will be any shelters set up to take pets in an emergency. Also, see if your veterinarian will accept your pet in an emergency.

Decide on safe locations in your house where you could leave your pet in an emergency.

Consider easy to clean areas such as utility areas or bathrooms and rooms with access to a supply of fresh water.

Avoid choosing rooms with hazards such as windows, hanging plants or pictures in large frames.

In case of flooding, the location should have access to high counters that pets can escape to. Set up two separate locations if you have dogs and cats.

Buy a pet carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around inside. Train your pet to become comfortable with the carrier. Use a variety of training methods such as feeding it in the carrier or placing a favorite toy orblanket inside.

If your pet is on medication or a special diet, find out from your veterinarian what you should do in case you have to leave it alone for several days. Try and get an extra supply of medications.

Make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar that includes current license and rabies tags...including an identification tag that has your name, address, and phone number. If your dog normally wears a chain link "choker" collar, have a leather or nylon collar available if you have to leave him alone for several days.

Keep your pet's shots current and know where the records are. Most kennels require proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations before accepting a pet.

Contact motels and hotels in communities outside of your area and find out if they will accept pets in an emergency.

When assembling emergency supplies for the household,
include items for pets:

___ Extra food (The food should be dry and relatively unappealing to prevent overheating. Store the food in sturdy containers.)
___ Kitty litter
___ Large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser
___ Extra medications


In most states, trained guide dogs for the blind, hearing impaired or disabled will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Check with local emergency management officials for more information.

Go to the Emergency Preparedness Information page, on to Trees and Plants, or back to A Safe Room.