LOUISVILLE KY – The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) is encouraging pet parents to fully consider their pets in their emergency planning. The Louisville-based animal welfare agency is a Hill’s Disaster Relief Network Partner, a program that provides emergency food to dogs and cats who are impacted by disasters, including floods, fires and tornadoes.
In times of crisis, people are often told to leave their homes for a “short time,” only to find that they cannot return for days or even weeks. As a result, community animal shelters are overwhelmed with lost and separated cats and dogs following a disaster.
“Families may face a variety of emergencies such as severe flooding,” said Andrea Blair, KHS spokesperson. “At the Kentucky Humane Society, we have seen first-hand the effects that natural disasters can have on companion animals.”
In 2012, KHS sheltered over 60 pets displaced from the Henryville, Ind., tornadoes. And in September 2017, KHS took in over 250 dogs, cats and horses that were affected by flooding following hurricanes in Florida and Texas.
Together with Hill’s, KHS suggests families build a Pet Emergency Go-Kit and store it with the rest of the family’s emergency preparations:
- Basic first aid supplies
- A 3-day supply of bottled water and the pet’s preferred food, held in a waterproof container
- Safety harness and leash
- Waste clean-up supplies
- Medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records
- List of veterinarians and local pet care organizations
- List of the pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or favorite toy, to help keep the pet calm and comfortable
“Being prepared is the best step families can take to ensure that they and their pets are ready to face an emergency,” said Joann Fuller, who oversees Hill’s Pet Nutrition Food, Shelter & Love® program. “Plus, knowing that a kit is packed and ready to go can put families at ease.”
KHS and Hill’s also recommends the following Tips to Help Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency:
- Ensure your pet’s identification by using a microchip or collar ID tag, and make sure that your contact information is up-to-date.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
- If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
In the past several years, the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network delivered free food to shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to more than 40 major incidents, including floods, fires, tornadoes and a mudslide.
Families looking to learn more about disaster preparedness and safety, as well as the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network, can visit HillsPet.com/PetPrepared.