Every owner should have an emergency plan that includes their dog. Each emergency plan is unique. The staff at the Dogs Only Medical Center has prepared a list of resources and suggestions to aide in your planning.
What every pet owner should have:
1. Rescue Alert Sticker to notify rescue personnel that there are pets inside your home in the event of an emergency such as a fire. The sticker should include information about your pets as well as information about your veterinarian. Request a FREE Pet Safety Pack online (www.aspca.org) which includes a rescue alert sticker.
2. Safe Haven in the event of an evacuation. Plan ahead, do not wait! Prepare a list of pet friendly places such as hotels and motels outside of your local area. If there is an impending disaster call ahead for reservations. Also, ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to shelter your pets. Also, make a list of boarding facilities and 24 hour emergency phone numbers. Never leave your pets behind if your neighborhood is evacuated.
3. Portable Pet Disaster Supplies Kit This kit is ready to go in the event of an evacuation or family emergency that requires pets to travel or stay somewhere other than home. We recommend a sturdy plastic container with a handle. What to include in the emergency kit:
- first aid materials (bandages, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs, antibiotic ointment, etc.)
- medications and medical information,
- name and number of veterinarian, proof of vaccinations card
- leash, harness and/or pet carrier and newspapers
- current photos of pets in case they become lost
- food and water bowls, bottle water, can opener, 3-7 days worth of food
- liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- flashlight with extra batteries
- blanket and/or bath towels
4. Temporary Caregiver This person would care for your pet for a short time in the event of an emergency that prevents you from going home (ex. sudden hospitalization, emergency at work, etc.). A neighbor or someone who lives close to your residence is ideal. You should trust them and they should have a set of your house keys. Garage door openers and garage codes are too unreliable (i.e., power failures). Also consider who would care for your pets on short notice in the event that you must leave town for a few days. Consider a neighbor, pet sitter or boarding facility.
5. Permanent Caregiver Who will care for your pets in the event that something happens to you? Consider people who have cared for pets in the past and have interacted with your pet. It is also important to discuss this decision with the person you select so they understand the responsibility and your expectations.
6. Emergency Escape Plan Lastly, but most importantly, have an escape plan for fast and safe exit of all members in your family, including pets, from your home in the event of fire or other disaster. Be sure to have family escape drills periodically. Being prepared saves lives. Consider all exit routes in your home and what you would do if certain exits were blocked. For example, do you live in a second story home? What if you were unable to get down the stairs?
Dr. Prescott's plan: "In the end table next to my bed, I keep spare, inexpensive leashes and a rope to be used in an emergency. My plan would be to lower the dogs from the second story window in slings made out of sheets with a leash rope already attached to them."