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“Pets cannot survive on their own,” said Brent Hinton, PetFirst chief executive officer and former head of the Kentucky Humane Society. “These situations can be stressful, but with some preparation you can ensure your pet’s safety during a disaster.”
Hinton urges pet owners to not leave their pets behind and suggests the following steps to increase the chance of pet survival:
Identify a shelter- During mass evacuations or relocation, many disaster shelters, including Red Cross, will not accept pets due to health and safety regulations. Hinton suggests identifying alternative shelter in advance. Ask family, friends, or others outside your area if they are able to shelter your pets, and research pet friendly hotels and motels.
Pack a pet-survival kit- Include pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, food dishes, toys, a leash or pet carrier, and a current pet photo in case the pet becomes separated.
Bring pets indoors- Never leave pets outside or tied up during disasters. Find a safe indoor location to prevent them from running away due to anxiety or fear.
Separate dogs and cats- They may normally get along, but pets can act irrationally in the event of an emergency. If there is no alternative to leaving pets behind, Hinton recommends the following:
Confine pets inside- Provide dry food, because moist and canned food may spoil, as well as plenty of water.
Outside notice- Place a notice outside the building, advising what pets have been left and where they are located inside.
Phone numbers- Provide the owner’s mobile phone numbers, along with the name and number of the pet’s veterinarian.
About PetFirst Healthcare:
PetFirst Healthcare is a privately owned and based in Jeffersonville, Ind., has simplified pet insurance through published rates that eliminate the need for detailed medical histories or complicated price quotes. Underwritten by an A+-rated insurance carrier and available nationwide, PetFirst provides affordable healthcare coverage, quality customer service and fast claims processing. Individual and family plans are available to reimburse veterinary costs for dogs and cats. For information visit www.petfirst.com or call 1-855-270-PETS.
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