Pet Disaster Preparedness
Our pets are part of the family, and we want to do everything we can to keep them safe during hurricanes and other disasters. Make a plan now so you and your furry friends can be prepared.
Pet Disaster Supply Kit
• Well-fitted collar with ID, rabies and license tags
• Carrier or cage large enough for your pet to move around
• Paperwork showing all vaccines are up-to-date
• At least two weeks' worth of food and water
• Food and water bowls
• Non-electric can opener
• Any necessary medications
• Newspapers, cat litter and litter pan, scoop
• Plastic bags for handling waste
• A comfort item such as a favorite toy or blanket
• Specific care instructions
• Proper ID on all belongings (including emergency contact information if you evacuate)
• Photo of you and your pet
Evacuating with Pets
Make sure your pets are microchipped and their vaccines are all up-to-date. Pasco County Animal Services offers low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Make an appointment on our clinics page.
Don’t leave your pet and don’t use your pet as an excuse not to evacuate. You are putting yourself, your family and your pet at risk! If you are ordered to evacuate, take your pet and pet supplies with you. Seek shelter with friends or relatives or at a hotel. Many shelters/evacuation centers will not turn away pets.
If you plan to take your pets with you to a shelter, you are responsible for your pet while staying in the shelter. You will need to bring your own crate and any supplies that apply from the above list. You can also find pet-friendly hotels and at petswelcome.com.
After the storm has passed, be careful allowing your pet outdoors. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet could easily get confused and become lost. Downed power lines, other animals, and insects brought in with high water could present real dangers to your pet. Take care not to allow your pet to consume food or water which may have become contaminated. Nearly 80 percent of pets displaced by a disaster are never reunited with their owners.
There are many resources to keep you and your livestock safe as a disaster approaches. It is important to tag your animals with identifying markers. If possible, keep a photo log of livestock. Check regularly that your fences are intact. Remove any trees and repair any structures that could fall on the fence or injure an animal. If you plan to evacuate your animals, coordinate transportation in advance. Remember that gas may not be as readily available, and traffic will increase as the disaster approaches. Plan accordingly when you begin evacuating livestock.
If you plan to stay, your livestock should have access to clean water and food for at least five days. Provide adequate cooling options and a warm bed to use. For more information about planning for your livestock, go to Pasco County Extension Office or usda.gov.
Petco Love Lost
Pasco County Animal Services takes in lost and surrendered pets every day. If a lost animal is brought to the shelter without any ID, it will be held for 72 hours. After 72 hours, the animal becomes property of the shelter and will be adopted out or transferred to a rescue partner. With so many shelters in the area, it can be hard to locate your pet. PCAS has had great success using Petco Love Lost. This app uses facial recognition to reunite pets with their owners. You can download it for free and post a lost or found animal in your area. Register your pet today. For more information, go to lost.petcolove.org.