To many, pets are a very important part of the family. Owners consider their pets' well being and safety a top priority, and that should be no different during an emergency. When preparing your home and family for storm season, include a plan for your pets.
Once a tropical storm warning has been issued, keep all animals inside. Try not to leave your pets unattended and don't leave them in your home if you evacuate. If your pet is lost during a storm, call Port St. Lucie Animal Control at (772) 871-5042. Microchipping your pet in advance is beneficial in case ID tags are lost. If your pet is turned in to Animal Control, the microchip will be scanned for contact information. If your pet is already microchipped, be sure that it has up-to-date contact information.
Assemble a Pet Kit
In addition to the emergency kit in your home for people, prepare one for Fido and Kitty as well. Your pet kit should include a three-day supply of pet food and treats, bottled water, bowls for food and water, medicines, cat litter, cleansers, plus newspapers and extra plastic bags to handle pet waste. To keep animals entertained, pack toys or bones, and a leash and collar with updated tags. You should have a carrier large enough for the animal to stand and turn around in and a blanket big enough to cover it. Display a pet identification card on the carrier that includes your contact information. Keep vaccination records in the kit as well.
Whether you decide to stay in your home and weather the storm or evacuate, make sure your pets are part of that plan. If it is not safe to remain in your home, it's not safe for your pet either. Before a storm, check with your vet to see if he or she offer boarding services. Some vets and boarding facilities may allow you to prepay and reserve a spot. If you choose to board your pet, make sure you understand the policies, procedures, and time-frame when you must pick your pet up.
If you need to evacuate, and for some reason are not able to take your pets with you, please contact a Boarding Facility or your Veterinarian to see if they have any availability for your pet(s).
Port St. Lucie Animal Control does not board animals. The St. Lucie County Humane Society website has a list of boarding facilities and pet-friendly hotels in our area.Your pets depend on you for their care and safety. Take time to make an emergency preparedness plan for the entire family. Fido and kitty will thank you.