Tips for pet-owners during hurricane season.
Leaving a pet behind in a disaster dramatically decreases its chance of survival. Decide on a course of action and make sure you can initiate it at a moment’s notice.
Sarasota and Charlotte County has designated a few pet friendly shelters (list below), however, they too will fill rapidly. Prepare in advance by identifying evacuation and shelter locations, make sure you know how to get there.
Make sure your pet is microchipped.
A lost pet can be scanned and returned to you as long as your information is recorded and up to date. You may have your pet microchipped at Suncoast Humane Society for a low fee; call 941-474-7884 to schedule an appointment.
Stay tuned to the news reports and have everything packed and ready in case you have to evacuate at a moments notice. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, wearing identification – make sure your pet is ready. Keep your pet’s food, water, and medical supplies in watertight containers. Stay calm – your pets can sense your emotions, so a calming demeanor can make your pet feel more at ease. Speak to your pet in a calm, soothing voice.
Following the storm animals may be very disoriented. Flooding, downed fences and power lines, will pose serious dangers to you and your pet. Keep your pet secure during this time. Do not allow them to roam loose. Do not allow them to consume food or water which may have become contaminated.
Your Pet Disaster Kit Should Include:
Any pet medications (ask your vet about keeping extra supplies or medication, or a copy of prescriptions for these medications in your kit; be sure to replace medications before they expire)
Out of area contact name and phone number
Local Pet-Friendly Shelters:
Before you pack, it is best to contact the shelter before leaving your house to know their pet requirements.