Sacramento, CA (June 18, 2006) – As powerful wildfires continue to threaten parts of Arizona, United Animal Nations (UAN) is encouraging residents with pets to take their animals with them if they evacuate.
Animals left behind during fires can get injured, fall ill, starve and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts. Families who must evacuate are encouraged to:
- Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier, and photos of you with your animals. Get more disaster kit tips at www.uan.org.
- Identify all of your animals with a tag and microchip so you can be more easily reunited if separated.
- Seek refuge in a hotel that allows pets. Most hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during disasters. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.petfriendlyhotelsandtravel.com.
- Place animals in a pet-friendly evacuation shelter. Local Red Cross chapters can provide information on the availability of emergency shelters for animals. Find Red Cross chapters at www.redcross.org.
- Leave animals with friends or relatives or board them at a professional kennel safely out of the fire’s reach.
“Animals left to fend for themselves during disasters suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left behind,” said UAN president Nicole Forsyth. “For both human and animal safety, it is vital that every family include their animals in their evacuation plans.”
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free emergency sheltering and disaster relief services for animals in communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises. Since 1987, UAN has responded to 70 disasters, including the Kinishba fire in Holbrook, Arizona in 2003 and the Rodeo fire Springerville, Arizona in 2002. With more than 2,600 EARS volunteers in the United States and Canada, UAN can provide the following services to communities in need:
- Set up and operate temporary animal relief shelters
- Evacuate animals from a disaster site
- Rescue abandoned and stranded animals
- Feed and care for displaced animals
- Transport animals and coordinate veterinary care
- Distribute food and supplies to the community
- Reunite lost animals with their caregivers and find permanent new homes for unclaimed animals
Emergency management and animal control agencies in Arizona
can call UAN at (916) 429-2457 for assistance.
About UAN. Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is North America’s leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals.