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Ready Arlington: Is Your Pet Ready for an Emergency?

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This biweekly column is sponsored by the Arlington Office of Emergency Management.

This week’s Preparedness Post comes from Ready Arlington’s community partner, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

If you suddenly learned that you had to evacuate because of an emergency, would you and your pet be ready? We all need to be prepared for emergencies, and pet owners have special responsibilities.

June is National Pet Preparedness Month so this is the perfect time to get your ducks (or cats, dogs, or bunnies) in a row. Here’s some things to think about when you plan:

  • Take your pet with you! Hurricane Katrina taught us that leaving animals behind when people are forced to evacuate is a catastrophe
  • Make sure your pet’s identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Also consider microchipping your pets (The Animal Welfare League of Arlington sells engraved id tags for $6.00 and has low-cost microchipping clinics eight times a year)
  • Have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes
  • Make a pet emergency kit. Download Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners for a full list of items to include in your pet’s kit, which can include: pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies, leash, harness and/or secure pet carrier
  • Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. In addition to researching hotels, keep a list of friends or relatives who live outside the immediately affected area and who would be able to house you and your pet.
  • If you are instructed by authorities to shelter in place, you will probably need your pet emergency kit, including fresh water.

You are your pet’s caretaker and protector. Make a plan today!

 

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