Sunday, February 5, 2012

Love Your Pet, Pet emergency Preparedness

Pets die in horrible numbers when there is a disaster in their area. If you love your pet you can take care of them in a disaster along with your human loved ones.

If you are like me about your pet(s), they are family members and loved ones. If I have to evacuate in a disaster, I am taking my pets. If I can be safe they can be safe.

How that happens does require some forethought. The Red Cross has had a lot of experience with people who die because they refuse to leave their pets. They began reacting to that by allowing people to have their pets in emergency shelters. This did not last long because some other people in the shelters complained that they were very allergic to pets and had reactions to the presence of animals in the shelters with mild reactions all the way up to anaphylactic shock. 

After that happened, the Red Cross began not letting pets in shelters again. Finally the Red Cross began splitting the difference and designating some shelters as being for pets and their owners. The pets are not in the same actual shelter as their owners, but they are adjacent. In my town, for example, we have a high school that is a pet owner shelter and the grammar school next door is the pet shelter. Pet owners can go in the pet shelter next door and take care of their pets and comfort them. I was told that it is not permitted for the pet owners to sleep in the pet shelter with their pets. I was informed that only two pets per person are allowed in these owner/pet shelter arrangements. 

Service animals are permitted in human shelters so the above rules do not apply to them. Both pets and service animals must be microchipped and have records on hand of recent vaccinations and proof of being licensed, to stay in a shelter.

I do not like that idea and neither my pets nor I would be happy with that situation. The alternative  is to travel further from the disaster and find a hotel that permits pets to stay there. You can find books that list hotels that allow pets, by locale. I used to have one when I lived in another state. I have not gotten one of those pet friendly hotel books since I moved, but am going to get one and keep it in my go bag.
 - copyright 2012 all rights reserved Y.Begley
Travelling With Your Pet by AAA has a list of pet friendly hotels. It is available at many AAA club offices, online, and in bookstores. The cover price is $18.95 U.S. There are also many sites that specialize in pet friendly accommodations world wide as well as telephone booking services.

Pets and disaster/emergencies is a big subject, so it will be necessary for me to do more posts on it to cover it better.

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