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Think of your furry friends when hurricane approaches

September 5, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Think of your furry friends when hurricane approaches, officials at the Gulf Coast Humane Society advise.

Leaving pets behind to fend for themselves should not be part of any emergency plan, officials said, advising pet owners to plan ahead and map out safe havens which accept pets.

Research local shelter policies and contact your veterinarian for emergency facilities which do accept pets, a release from the agency issued Tuesday states/

"Your pets' lives depend on your plan," said GCHS executive director Jennifer Galloway in a prepared statement. "The more prepared you are, the better off you and your pets are."

Preparedness tips include:

* Don't wait for a mandatory evacuation order. Some people who have waited have been told to leave their pet behind.

Fact Box

About Gulf Coast Humane Society:

Gulf Coast Humane Society is a regional organization dedicated to helping companion pets find their forever homes, no matter how long it takes. GCHS provides an adoption center, spay-neuter and veterinary clinic, as well as education and awareness to the public about the welfare of homeless pets.

GCHS' mission is to care for companion pets in need by offering safe refuge, providing medical care and facilitating adoptions. GCHS promotes the concept the "Adopt, Don't Shop" and help educate the community about proper and responsible animal care, while providing quality, affordable veterinary care.

* If evacuation is required by authorities, plans of lodging outside the area need to be made. Research the surrounding areas for hotels, shelters or any other lodging - which can include friends and relative in which an extended stay can happen with your pets.

* Now that plans are made for lodging and shelter which accepts pets, have your emergency caretaker's number handy, in case you are not home. This trustworthy individual should have access to your home and knows the plan of taking care of your animals.

* Always have an emergency kit made up for hurricanes, which can result in long periods without water or power. Pets also need their own emergency kits.

Extra water specifically for your animals is the No. 1 and most important item in your pets' emergency kit. A week's worth of water for you, your family and pets is highly recommended.

"Do not let your pets drink from the standing flood water, because its filled with toxins and pollutants," Galloway said. "Have fresh bottled water for your pets."

Wet food is also important, because canned items last longer and the moisture in the food will help extend your pets' water rations. Don't forget to have a can opener handy, as well.

* Have an extra supply of your pets' medications in advance by talking to your vet and securing extra prescriptions in case of an extended evacuation. Extra cat litter and doggy bags will be needed to stay sanitary and lessen the chances of spreading diseases.

* When arriving at a potential shelter, boarding your pet may be required. Having papers, proof of recent vaccinations, photos of your pet and proof of ownership, in a water-sealed container will eliminate much hassle in boarding a pet at a shelter.

* Have ID tags and vaccination tags on your pets' collar.

* For more convenient mobility, always have a supply of leashes and pet carriers handy. These will be a big help in your pets' safety or prevent them from running into harmful conditions.

* Finally, always have your pets' favorite toys and items which will help calm them down. Anything to take the stress off your pets during a frightening time, can take stress off you.

* Having your pet microchipped is important, simply because your chances of being reunited with a lost pet goes up twofold if they can be scanned and identified. Adding stickers to your windows allows rescuers know there are animals which live there.

* Have your pets vaccinated well in advance, because in the aftermath of a hurricane, diseases are more prevalent due to the flooding which causes sanitary problems.

Not all pets are dogs or cats.

* For birds, they should have a secure cage.

A blanket over the cage may help reduce the stress of traveling. Also a spray bottle to moisten your bird's feathers in warm weather will be needed. Be sure to have plenty of liners for the cage and a perch for the bird to grasp.

* Reptiles need secure housing. Snakes need a sturdy bowl that is large enough to soak in and it may be good to bring along a heating pad or other warming device. Lizards can be transported like birds.

*Other small animals such as hamsters and mice can be transported in a secure carrier with bedding materials, food and food bowls. Remember to have an extra water bottle and a week's worth of bedding.

For more information and a detailed list of disaster preparedness go to

Source> Gulf Coast Humane Society



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