LA Animal Services reminds pet owners to make a plan
Los Angeles, September 15, 2017 – September is National Preparedness Month and the best way to handle any emergency or disaster is by being prepared. Our pets are family members to us and they depend on us for love, care and safety. An unpredictable emergency situation can happen any time such as an earthquake, flood or wildfire. This year Los Angeles was devastated by the 7,000 acre La Tuna Canyon Fire, which resulted in hundreds of residential evacuations. Making a plan to be ready as possible will help all of your family members, two-legged and four-legged alike, be safe for any emergency.
If you need to evacuate, it is best to take your animals with you. It is too dangerous to leave companion animals unattended during natural disasters. The best way to ensure the safety of your pets is to evacuate with them.
Here are some simple steps you can do now for your furry loved ones to make sure you are set for the unexpected.
Make sure your pet is wearing tags with up-to-date identification. Your dog should have a current City license. Your pet’s microchip should be registered with your correct contact information. If you and your animal are separated proper identification will help reunite you both.
Create copies of important documents for your animal such as vaccination records, microchip information, photos of your pet, your contact information, friends/relatives contact information, any notes on feeding, medication and behavior. Keep a copy off site with a friend or family member, in Cloud storage and tape a copy to a portable kennel.
Train your companion animal to be comfortable in a portable kennel. If an emergency happens or you have to evacuate, this will help your pet feel safe and make it easier to transport them.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors. If you are not home when an emergency happens, your neighbor can check on your animal and help evacuate your pet if necessary.
Prepare an emergency kit. Put together a backpack of emergency supplies for your pet such as food and water for several days, treats, medications, toys and blankets. Make sure that perishable items are replaced every few months.
Find a safe place to stay ahead of time in case you have to evacuate. Identify hotels inside and outside your area that accept pets during emergency situations. If you cannot take your furry family member with you, identify boarding facilities nearby and outside of your area where you can take your pet.
Have a rescue alert sticker visible in one of your home’s windows that lists the number and species of animals residing in your home. If you evacuate with your pets during an emergency, and time allows, write “Evacuated” across the alert sticker.
If you have larger animals such as a horse, be sure to prepare for them as well.
Make sure your horse is identifiable with a bracelet and microchip. An ID bracelet can be purchased online or you can make your own with your contact information. Place the bracelet round the horse’s back foot.
Train your horse to load into a trailer in case you need to evacuate. Identify alternate ways that you can trailer and/or walk your horse(s) to nearby stables or other designated safety zones.
Pre-arrange for boarding at stables outside your area, if possible. Sheltering for equines can be limited in mandatory evacuation vicinities.
Prepare for your horse if you are not able to evacuate with him/her. Keep a leather halter near the corral that’s easy to find for emergency responders. Have an emergency supply of water (use drums or barrels) and feed available.
Never turn your horse or livestock loose during a wildfire. You do not know how they will react and they could be dangerous to you or others. If you have to evacuate without your animals, keep them in a safe fenced paddock until the threat passes or emergency help arrives.
Whether you are at home or away during in an emergency or you have to evacuate last minute, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
LA Animal Services General Manager, Brenda Barnette shares emergency preparedness tips for pets with Zilda (available for adoption at North Central Shelter) on KTLA News at 1pm on Thursday, September 14, 2017.
Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six shelters serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety and welfare of animals and people.