Animal Care

Be Pet Prepared for an Emergency

May is Emergency Preparedness Month

The Fort McMurray Wildfire in 2016 and the Southern Alberta Flood in 2013 remind us that disaster can strike in Alberta and residents need to be prepared. An emergency plan needs to include your pets, both for evacuation purposes and for reunification should you become separated. During the Fort McMurray evacuation, the Alberta SPCA helped rescue approximately 1,200 animals in the municipality.

Be prepared to evacuate with your pets. Imagine what you will need to keep your animals comfortable in a hotel for two weeks and this will help guide you in preparing an emergency kit.

A Pet Emergency Kit should have the following items;

  • Three to seven days worth of food
  • Bottled water
  • Medications (2 weeks supply)
  • Copy of pet’s medical records and vaccinations (in water proof container)
  • Food & water dishes
  • Extra leash and harness
  • Kitty litter and tray
  • Pet carrier or kennel
  • Extra toys/blankets
Pet evacuation centre in Edmonton - May 2016

It’s important to have your vaccinations up to date and to have a record of them with you. If you need to take your pet to any type of boarding facility, you will be required to show proof that your pet’s vaccinations are current.

If You Become Separated From Your Pets

In many instances people are forced to evacuate without their pets. Getting reunited with your animals during a disaster situation can be complicated, and the task is much easier if you take steps in advance, such as;

  • Have your pets licensed with your local municipality so details of your animals are established and on the record.
  • Have up to date ID for your animals including:
    • Tattoo or microchip
    • ID tag with animal’s name, your phone number & urgent medical needs
  • Keep recent photos of your pets with you
Donations at the pet evacuation centre
A dog is reunited with its owner in Edmonton - May 2016

Emergency kits should be stored as close to the home’s exit as possible. Your pet’s leash and harness should also be near the door in case you need to make a quick escape.

Disaster organizations in the United States experience evacuation situations regularly, and have prepared considerable material. To find a pet emergency kit checklist and other information, click on the link below. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/resources/disaster-prep-Pet-Emergency-Checklist.pdf

Fire fighters work to bandage a cat - May 2016
Bandaged cat in Fort McMurray - May 2016

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