Henry County Animal Care & Control
You can't prevent disasters or accidents,
but you can be prepared if they strike. Remember, if it's
not safe for you, it's not safe for your pets.
If you are asked to evacuate in an emergency situation, have
your pet's emergency kit ready to go along with the rest of
your family's emergency supplies.
Disaster Supply Checklist
Stock up on nonperishables well
ahead of time, add perishable items at the last minute, and
have everything ready to go at a moment's notice. Keep everything
accessible, stored in sturdy containers (duffel bags, covered
trash containers, etc.) that can be carried easily.
In your pet disaster kit, you should include:
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof
container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also
good to include.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets
safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Carriers
should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably,
turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in
the carrier for hours at a time while you have taken shelter
away from home. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose
objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may
require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth, and other
- Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help
others identify them in case you and your pets become separated
and to prove that they are yours.
- Food and water for at least three days for each pet,
bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manual can opener.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions,
behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian
in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster
- Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce
Other useful items include newspapers,
paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household
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. Once you leave, you
have no way of knowing how long you'll be kept out of the
area, and you may not be able to go back for your pets.
- Leave early—don't wait for a mandatory evacuation
order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too
long to leave safely with your pets. If you wait to be evacuated
by emergency officials, you may be told to leave your pets
Dont Forget ID
Your pets should be wearing up-to-date identification at
all times. It's a good idea to include the phone number of
a friend or relative outside your immediate area—if
your pet is lost, you'll want to provide a number on the tag
that will be answered even if you're out of your home.
Find a Safe Place Ahead of Time
Because evacuation shelters generally don't accept pets (except
for service animals), you must plan ahead to ensure that your
family and pets will have a safe place to stay. Don't wait
until disaster strikes to do your research.
- Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area
to check policies on accepting pets. Ask about any restrictions
on number, size, and species. Ask if "no pet"
policies would be waived in an emergency. Make a list of
animal-friendly places and keep it handy. Call ahead for
a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave
- Check with friends, relatives, or others outside your
immediate area. Ask if they would be able to shelter you
and your animals or just your animals, if necessary. If
you have more than one pet, you may have to be prepared
to house them separately.
- Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices
that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies; include
24-hour telephone numbers.
To find a hotel or motel that accepts pets visit www.petswelcome.com
If You Do Not Evacuate
If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster
at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all
- Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure
they are wearing identification.
- Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water
inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency
As the Disaster Approaches
Don't wait until the last minute to get ready. Warnings of
hurricanes or other disasters may be issued hours, or even
days, in advance.
- Call to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you
and your pets.
- Bring pets into the house and confine them so you can
leave with them quickly if necessary.
- Make sure each pet and pet carrier has up-to-date identification
and contact information. Include information about your
temporary shelter location.
- Make sure your disaster supplies are ready to go, including
your pet disaster kit.
In Case You're Not Home
An evacuation order may come, or a disaster may strike, when
you're at work or out of the house. Make arrangements well
in advance for a trusted neighbor to take your pets and meet
you at a specified location. Be sure the person is comfortable
with your pets, knows where your animals are likely to be,
knows where your disaster supplies are kept, and has a key
to your home.
After the Storm
Planning and preparation will help you weather the disaster,
but your home may be a very different place afterward, whether
you have taken shelter at home or elsewhere.
- Don't allow your pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks
and smells might be gone, and your pet will probably be
disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations.
- For a few days, keep dogs on leashes and keep cats in
carriers inside the house. If your house is damaged, they
could escape and become lost.
- Be patient with your pets after a disaster. Try to get
them back into their normal routines as soon as possible,
and be ready for behavioral problems that may result from
the stress of the situation. If behavioral problems persist,
or if your pet seems to be having any health problems, talk
to your veterinarian.