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September 9, 2013

The Humane Society of the United States Offers Tips to Protect Pets

During September, National Disaster Preparedness Month, The Humane Society of the United States is reminding pet owners to prepare by taking some simple – but critical – steps to keep their companions safe.

While the path and strength of tornadoes, hurricanes and tropical storms are often uncertain, The HSUS urges pet owners to prepare an emergency plan and kit and to remain informed about the potential for evacuation in their area. 

Wanda Merling, senior manager of disaster response for The HSUS said: “It is crucial that residents are prepared to keep their pets inside if they are able to stay at home or to take pets with them if asked to evacuate in the face of a potentially destructive storm. If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets.”

In conjunction with National Preparedness Month, The HSUS is holding the #TakeYourPet Contest, asking animal lovers to submit a video or photo of their pet disaster kit.

Create a pet emergency kit that is available to quickly grab and go and be sure to put a collar with visible identification on your pets, including indoor-only pets. The kit should include:

  • Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water. Be sure to include a can opener if including canned food.
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings. Ideally you should also be in the photo.
  • Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies
  • Comfort items such as a toy and blanket
  • Small garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
  • For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport

More than 396 million pets reside in 68 percent of American households. A Zogby International poll, conducted after Hurricane Katrina, found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them. The HSUS recommends creating a list of hotels and boarding facilities that allow pets and discussing bringing pets with you to stay with family members.

When disaster strikes, the same rules that apply to people apply to pets – preparation makes all the difference. For more information on the contest and how to prepare for disasters, please visit humanesociety.org/prepare.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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Article source: HSUS

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