Evacuation planning for pet owners
'if you go, they go'
If you evacuate, take your pets! The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to take them with you when you evacuate. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed.
Animals left inside your home can escape through storm-damaged areas, such as broken windows. Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents. Leaving dogs tied or chained outside in a disaster is a death sentence.
If you leave, even if you think you may be gone only for a few hours, take your animals with you. Once you leave, you have no way of knowing how long you will be kept out of the area, and you may not be able to go back for your pets.
Find a safe place for your pet ahead of time. If you have a relative or friend who can keep your pet, take him/her there first.
If you must evacuate, and you have nowhere to take your pet, your city, town or a local shelter may have accommodations in place where they will be fully equipped to care for your animals. Contact Animal Control at 781 834-6655 x 174 for an emergency sheltering informational message. However, before your pet will be accepted into nearly any emergency sheltering facility, you will need to do the following:
- IDENTIFY YOUR PET. Make sure that your pet is wearing a collar with securely fastened up-to-date identification tags (which should include license, rabies, name/address/phone).
- HAVE A PET DISASTER KIT PREPARED AND BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU EVACUATE. Make sure that you have the outside of the kit labeled with your pet’s I.D. and your name/address/phone. The following items should be included in this kit:
1. Crate or carrier to fit your pet
2. Copies of pet’s medical records and vaccines
3. Veterinarian’s name and phone number
5. Current photo of pet
6. 2 small bowls
7. Small bag of cat litter (if cat)
8. Can opener (if using can food)
9. 2 week supply of any medication
10. 2 week supply of food
11. Pet’s blanket
12. Pet’s toys (2)
13. 3 day supply of water.
In the event that you evacuate and for whatever reason, are absolutely unable to take your pets, it is imperative that you contact your local Animal Control Officer, and as well, post clear notification inside a window, or elevated, weather-proofed, outside your house, indicating that there are pets inside. The sign should read “PETS INSIDE” and should indicate how many pets, what types of pets, and the location of the pets inside the home. The sign should also include a contact telephone number (obviously not the house phone number).