Among the chaos of boarding up windows and stocking up on food and supplies, pet owners are being encouraged to make sure their furry friends are prepared to weather Hurricane Sandy.
“We want to encourage everybody if they are evacuating to take your pets with you,” said Tim Rickey, senior director of field investigations and response with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“If your home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet,” he said.
New York City shelters are pet friendly, something Rickey said many people did not realize during Hurricane Irene. He encouraged people in the path of Sandy but outside of New York City to check with their local shelters to see if pets are allowed.
“It’s really sporadic. A lot of areas are [pet friendly] but some still aren’t,” he said. ”We’re actively working on that front, trying to get supplies into the northeast.”
The ASPCA has issued the following tips for pet owners:
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. Micro-chip your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
- Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies. Take this with you if you evacuate.
- Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.