With the hurricane season quickly approaching, and the unpredictable weather that has suddenly affected the globe, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case you end up with last minute cat travel or dog travel. This includes keeping your pet in mind in the event of an emergency. Many of the human deaths that occurred during Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew were a result of pet owners refusing to leave their homes without their pets. They would rather parish with their animals than let them die alone. In addition, rescue workers did not have space for animals on either their rescue vessel or at the shelter accommodations being provided. They had no obligation to rescue pets under such circumstances. As a result, pets are now protected under a little known federal law singed into action on January 3 2006, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act. This law requires that emergency preparedness authorities include accommodations for service animals and household pets prior to, during, and following a major disaster or emergency. Statewide, this law is being enforced by volunteers and many new organizations are being formed. For example, the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team, or SMART, calls upon a network of groups and individuals to assess damage, search and rescue, complete vet services, animal control functions, and more specialized services for zoo, aquatic, and wild animals in the time of an emergency.
But don’t rely on only rescue workers to assist with the rescue of your pet. Here are a few pointers to use for a “quick getaway” if necessary:
* Make sure your pet is acclimated to the kennel environment.
* Keep the travel kennel assembled and in an accessible spot by the exit to your home.
* Keep a Ziploc bag full of food inside of the kennel along with bedding and absorbent material for your pet.
* Have a lead/collar easily accessible.
*There should be a designated area for all of your emergency pet supplies for easy access.