“Planning ahead is the best way for people to ensure all members of their family, including pets, are ready to face an emergency,” said Joann Fuller, who oversees Hill’s Pet Nutrition Food, Shelter & Love® program. “Creating a pet emergency go-kit beforehand can relieve some of the stress families experience and help keep pets safe when disasters strike. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are hurt, displaced or abandoned when communities are impacted by disaster.”
Hill’s and its shelter partners encourage families to create a pet emergency go-kit to store alongside the rest of the family’s emergency supplies.
“Over the last decade, the Kentucky Humane Society has assisted companion animals impacted by local disasters, such the Henryville tornadoes in 2012, as well as national disasters, such as Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in 2018,” said KHS spokesperson Andrea Blair.
Together with Hill’s, KHS suggests an emergency go-kit include:
- 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
Hill’s and KHS also recommend 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 all contact information is up-to-date. You can update the microchip’s contact information at the manufacturer’s website by locating the code from the barcode sticker or the confirmation form provided by your veterinarian or animal shelter.
- Display a pet rescue decal on the front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include the local veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pets like to hide in the house when frightened. Finding a pet quickly will help to evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet in case of evacuation. 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.
- In case of evacuation, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
When even the best laid plans are not enough and communities are hit hard by disaster, Hill’s Disaster Relief Network responds quickly to supply free pet food to families in need. Since 2013, the network has delivered over 360,000 pounds of free food to nearly 360 organizations across the country in response to more than 86 disasters, including floods, tornadoes, mudslides and the devastating hurricanes in Florida and North Carolina last year.
Families looking to learn more about disaster preparedness and safety, as well as the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network, can visit HillsPet.com/PetPrepared. To request assistance during an emergency, shelters can contact [email protected].
About Hill's Pet Nutrition
Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hill’s mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL'S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods and HILL'S® Science Diet® wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords "Hill’s Pet Nutrition." For more information about Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program, visit us at Hillspet.com/shelter-program