Protect Your Pets

  • View the Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners video on FEMA's website.PetFirstAid.bmp
  • Board your pet in a kennel in a safe location. Pets should be brought to accommodating kennels in carriers with sufficient food.
  • Update your pet’s immunizations as kennels or shelters generally won’t accept pets that are behind on their shots. Keep the paperwork documenting immunizations handy.
  • Have current identifications and a picture of each pet to improve chances of a reunion if you are separated.
  • Never tranquilize pets. They need to use survival instincts to escape potential danger.
  • It’s best to leave exotic pets, such as snakes and parrots, with friends or relatives outside a threatened region.
  • Take your pet with you if you don’t go to a public shelter. Own enough carrying cages to safely and comfortable transport each pet. Be sure to bring along a familiar toy or blanket, a leash and any medications.
  • It is always best to leave your pet with someone, however, if you must evacuate, and have no one to leave them with, take them with you to South Sumter High School. Contrary to a some preparedness sites, we do not recommend leaving your pet home alone. Pets are always better off with their owners, especially in high stress situations.
  • Train your pet to become comfortable with the carrier. Use a variety of training methods such as feeding it in the carrier or placing a favorite toy or blanket inside.
  • If your pet is on medication or a special diet, get an extra supply of medications.
  • If your dog normally wears a chain link "choker" collar, have a leather or nylon collar available if you have to leave him alone for several days.
  • Extra food should not be moistened as it could turn rancid or sour.
  • Purchase a large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser. Large dogs may be able to obtain fresh water from a partially filled bathtub.
  • Keep a supply of extra kitty litter.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
  • If you take your animal with you, have a disaster supply kit prepared for them. Include food and water dishes, cat litter, litter box, scoop and bags, first-aid kit, leash and collar with identification tags, dish soap, paper towels, blankets, some favorite toys or treats, flea collars or flea-repellent drops. Label all of your pet’s belongings.
  • Visit Preparedness for Horse Owners for information on protecting your equine friends.
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  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own
  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact.
  • Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact Animal Services to find out where lost animals can be recovered. If possible, bring a picture of your pet.