Companion Pet Evacuation

What should be in your pet evacuation plan?

According to the American Humane Association, pet owners need to be prepared in case rescuers can't get to their pet in the event of an emergency. There are some simple steps to take to help pet owners and their pets evacuate a danger zone in a safe and orderly fashion.
1. Have a plan that the whole family knows and understands. The plan should include who is in charge of getting the pets out of the house during an emergency. Everyone should know of a meeting place if you have no other means of communication.

2. Keep your pet's vaccinations up-to-date. Keep track of your pet's vaccination schedule. If your pet is on medications or treatment, try to keep some extra on hand during natural disaster season.

3. Wheat Ridge resident dog-owners should also obtain a mandatory dog license through Jefferson County.

4. Know where your pets can go if you can't take them with you to an evacuation sight. Know of animal shelters and boarding facilities in your area that are prepared to house animals during a disaster. These facilities should also have the capability to evacuate your pets if needed. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels in your area if you need to take your pet with you.

5. Update your pet's IDs in case you and your pets are displaced across the country. Include your name, home phone number, cell phone number, and the contact information of an out-of-state friend or family member.

6. Prepare an emergency kit of leashes, collars, extra ID tags, water, food, medications, health and vaccination records, vet contact information with an authorization to treat your pets, and photos of each of your pets with you. Pack all of these items in a bag and keep it with your pet's portable carrier. It will be ready in case you need to evacuate your home quickly.

7. Gather any relief plans developed by your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office or emergency service providers, including local health, wildlife and agriculture departments so you know where to turn for specific resources.

More information can be found on the American Humane Association's web site.