As Hurricane Laura advances toward the coast, local veterinarians urge residents to make a disaster preparedness plan for their pets.
Dr. Jackie Simon and Dr. Lindsay Trahan, veterinarians at Country Place Veterinary Clinic in St. Martinville, said pet owners should have kit ready for their pet in the event they have to leave.
Trahan said, some of the items inside that kit should include:
- Ten day supply of food
- Updated vaccination records
- ID Numbers (Tag, Microchip, Tattoo)
- Picture of Pet
- Crate and Carrier
- First Aid Kit
- Comfort Item
- Sanitation (Pet Litter, Paper Towels, Trash Bags)
- Emergency Contact for you
- Emergency Contact for your pet
- Emergency Contact for someone outside of the disaster area
- Medical/Behavioral Instructions
"No matter what kind of animal it is," Trahan started. "I recommend that they be micro-chipped or you put some form of ID with your name, the pet's name, and a phone number attached to the animal. Even if it's a temporary collar of some sort, something that is taped on their fur."
Simon said while being left behind can take a mental toll on your pet; the physical could be much worse.
"A fence goes down, they're out, trees can fall on top of them, a building can fall on them, and another dog can get into the yard," Simon explained. "I'll leave them in the house." OK, well a tree falls on the roof. There are lots of ways for physical injury to occur there."
Simon and Trahan said your pet cannot protect themselves. They depend on you to keep them safe.
"With your pets, your best bet is to take them with you," Simon said. "You never want to leave them behind. You're asking for some major trouble if you leave them behind."
Animal Control or Humane Association
Office of Emergency Preparedness
Law Enforcement, Fire Department
GOHSEP - www.gohsep.la.gov
LDAF - www.ldaf.state.la.us
USDA - www.aphis.usda.gov
CDC - www.cdc.gov
AVMA - www.avma.org
VOAD - www.nvoad.org
FEMA - www.fema.gov
American Red Cross - www.redcross.org
Pet Evacuation Checklist: