Paws for Thought: Keeping pets safe in an emergency
When the Sand fire broke on June 8, Yolo County residents were reminded that California’s fire season is year-round. With mandatory evacuation orders in effect, 130 people and their animals had to seek shelter elsewhere. As we know from the Tubbs Fire and Camp Fire, wildfires can destroy cities and towns.
What about our pets? Here are a few things you can do.
Make a Plan
* List essential items to take — clothing, equipment, cell phones, documents, etc.
* Plan at least two different evacuation routes.
* Identify a place where you’ll meet family members outside the hazard area if you need to evacuate quickly or are separated during the evacuation.
* Designate an out-of-area friend or relative to be a source of communication with family members in case of separation.
* Identify motels/hotels that allow pets.
* Locate pets and keep them safe until you evacuate. Many run and hide during disasters.
Assemble an Evac-Pack
* Pet Identification: Microchip pets and have them always wear collars with identification tags. Store and maintain pet information online so you can access it remotely from any location. Update contact information and photos of microchipped pets online.
PetHub digital ID tags come with 24/7 online support for lost pets along with contact information and photos of pets that you provide online. Keep photos of you with your pets on your smart phone to help document pet ownership or to make “Lost Pet” posters.
* Food and Water: Keep two weeks supply of food and medications on hand as well as gallon jugs for water. Don’t forget bowls for food and water, scoop-able litter for cats and doggie bags for waste pickup.
* Crates, Beds and Leashes: Pet-safe transportation is crucial. Crates or carriers with bedding for traveling and sleeping keep pets safe and give them a sense of home. Leashes and harnesses for security and walks. Write your name and contact information on pet crates and carriers.
* Health and Safety: Store important pet information including photos of medical documents online and on your smart phone. Keep photocopies of these documents in a readily available folder so you can grab it and go. Ask your veterinarian about what to include in a first aid kit for your pets.
Watch pets carefully for signs of physical or emotional stress. Toxic fumes from burning debris, high heat, and oxygen deprivation create a wide range of health problems. Pets showing signs of distress should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Remember Cal? Cal’s April 2018 “Happy Tail” was an especially happy one because he’d just recovered from heartworm disease. When Dale Fegenbush adopted Cal in January 2018, Front Street Animal Shelter’s routine heartworm test showed Cal had this deadly disease.
Committed to adopting out healthy pets, Front Street provided Cal’s treatment at no cost to Dale. As a result, Dale transported Cal to and from the shelter for treatment and monitored his activity between treatments.
Dale recently emailed the following update of their very happy and fun-filled life since then: “Cal has been enjoying his big yard. He has lots of neighbor dogs to bark with. He also has lots of dogs in the family to go play with. Our favorite place to go hike is Lagoon Valley in Vacaville. He went to ‘Bark at the Park’ day at the Oakland A’s game last summer with me. When we were at the A’s baseball game they put him up on the JumboTron. Wish I had a picture of that.”
Dale also had Cal’s DNA analysis done by photo and found Cal is 58.6% Staffordshire bull terrier and 36.5% American pit bull terrier. Dale notes, “It may not be 100% accurate, but I believe that is most likely his breed. It matches his personality. He is a very independent and confident dog. He has brought pure joy and happiness to my life.
“By the way, the vet tested him for heartworm and he tested negative.” Good news all around for Cal and Dale, who look forward to many more happy adventures together!
Dale, E. (2019, june 19). Paws for Thought: Keeping pets safe in an emergency. Retrieved from www.davisenterprise.com: https://www.davisenterprise.com/features/pets-features/paws-for-thought-keeping-pets-safe-in-an-emergency/