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Pet organization releases disaster tips for pet owners

Posted: May 27, 2010 6:13 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2010 6:11 p.m.
Sacramento, Calif. -- The United Animal Nations, an animal protection organization, published the following tips to teach pet owners how to protect their pets in the event of a disaster:

1. Identify evacuation locations. If a disaster forces you from your home, bring your animals with you. Identify pet-friendly hotels, boarding kennels and loved ones outside of your immediate area that could accommodate your pets. Most human evacuation shelters do not allow animals.

2. Identify pets with tags and permanent microchips (tiny tracking devices). Veterinarians and many animal control agencies offer microchips. Update your microchip information if you move, get a new phone number or change emergency contacts.

3. Start a buddy system. If disaster strikes while you are not home, your animals could be stranded behind disaster lines. Exchange keys and disaster plans with a trusted neighbor who can collect your pet in case of an evacuation. Make sure your buddy is familiar with your pets.

4. Assemble a disaster kit for each pet. A disaster kit contains food, water, medication and other supplies you may not be able to get if roads and business are closed. Keep it near an exit so you can easily grab it if forced to leave.

5. Take photographs of yourself with your pets. If you are separated from your pets, photos can prove ownership if you must reclaim them from a shelter. Keep copies in your wallet and your disaster kit.

"When animals are left behind during disasters, they can get injured, lost, become sick, starve and pose public safety risks," said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. "United States households have more than 171 million dogs and cats alone, so it is vital that pet owners make provisions for these members of the family."

The UAN was founded in 1987 and focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education.


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