Evacuating with pets

Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) – When mandatory evacuation orders are given, you have a decision to make. Do you go or stay? If you decide to go, what will you do with your pet? If you evacuate, remember to bring enough food and water for your pet to last for several days. You will also need to bring with you your pet's vet and vaccination records, any medication, and a crate or pet carrier.

Before you hit the road, you'll need to make sure you know of a few pet friendly hotels. If you can't find any on the link provided, the Grand Strand Humane Society has an up to date list. It's a good idea to call ahead and make sure they are still pet friendly. If you are hoping a hotel that isn't normally pet friendly to make an exception because of the circumstances, Sandy Brown with the Grand Strand Humane Society says don't count on it.

If you decide to stay and ride out the storm and you are forced to seek shelter in a public hurricane shelter, your pet will most likely NOT be welcome. And don't depend on a local animal shelter to take care of your pet for you, but Brown says, "If we are here, we will certainly do anything we can to help." But most of these shelters will be full and short staffed.

Here is a checklist just for pets from the Humane Society of the United States:

  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet's collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It's important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
  • Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
  • Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
  • Pack a week's supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.).

http://www.hurricanesafety.org/ has many more checklists and hurricane safety information.

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