Sacramento, CA (April 20, 2006) – As rain, snow melt and ice break-ups continue to fill waterways within Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland, increasing the risk of severe flooding, United Animal Nations (UAN) is encouraging residents to bring their pets with them if they evacuate. Animals left behind during floods can get injured, fall ill, starve, drown, 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. Visit www.uan.org for more disaster kit tips.
- Identify all 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 in Canada is available at www.petswelcome.com.
- Place animals in a pet-friendly evacuation shelter. Through Provincial Emergency Preparedness (PEP) programs, provincial governments may be able to provide information on the availability of emergency shelters for animals and will have flooding advisories. Visit canada.gc.ca to find your provincial Web site.
- Leave animals with friends or relatives or board them at a professional kennel safely out of the floodwaters’ reach.
“Animals left to fend for themselves during disasters suffer terribly, and their caregivers often compound their stress because they are so worried about their pets,” said Colleen Bailey, Canadian Regional Director for UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service. “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 three floods and two fires in the Sacramento region. 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 Canada can call UAN at (916) 429-2457 for assistance.
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.