As the area prepares for more flooding, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions should residents be forced to evacuate. Please alert your audience to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds, and other companion animals who need to be included in disaster preparation plans:
· Never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves.
· Never tie animals up or leave them confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising floodwaters.
· Know your destination ahead of time. Although human shelters often refuse animals, motels in the area will probably accept dogs, cats, and other small animals in an emergency. Do not plan to leave animals unsupervised in a car; they can suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.
· Place small animals in secure carriers, and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, your animal’s favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least a week.
· Have your animals microchipped, and put secure, legible ID tags on them.
· Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who are left behind by neighbors. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal’s condition and location and call authorities for help as soon as possible.
A copy of PETA’s disaster-preparedness public service announcement is available to link or download here.
For more information and to find a list of local animal shelters and animal-friendly places to stay, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.