PROTECT YOUR PET DURING SEVERE WEATHER
If you're a pet owner, you need a plan to make sure your furry (and finned and feathered) family members will stay safe during the 2012 Hurricane Season, which begins June 1. Here are some tips from animal advocates:
If you evacuate, take them along. They're members of the family, too! If you're choosing to "shelter in place" be sure to bring them inside your home as the storm passes. Companion animals frequently become anxious and afraid during storms, so please make sure your pet is in a safe and secure location inside your home. After the storm passes, check your fence line carefully for loose or missing boards, to make sure your pet will be contained on your property when it's safe to venture outside again.
The number of pets reported missing rises dramatically following hurricanes and tropical storms, and other natural disasters like floods and tornadoes. Now is the time to make sure your pet has a sturdy, well-fitting collar with a current rabies tag and an identification tag, if possible. That ID tag should include your name and address, plus a cell phone number in case you and your pet become separated while you're away from home. Another important safeguard: A MICROCHIP. Contact your veterinarian for this quick, painless and inexpensive addition to your pet's safety and security. As we learned in the aftermath of Katrina, collars come off, and a microchip is your best bet for permanent identification of your furry family members.
The "Louisiana State Animal Response Team" was formed to help residents across the state plan for the safety and protection of their animals, from pets to horses to livestock, in case of a natural or manmade disaster. The group include veterinarians, animal control officials, and animal welfare advocates. To find out more about what your plan should include, log on to the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) website at www.lsart.org.