Animals left behind can be injured, fall ill, starve and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts
TOklahoma City (June 14, 2010) – As severe flooding threatens the Oklahoma City area, United Animal Nations (UAN) encourages residents to bring their pets with them if they evacuate. Animals left behind during floods can get injured, fall ill, starve, die, and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts.
Families that may have to evacuate are encouraged to:
- Identify a place where you can evacuate with your pets. Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during natural disasters. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.petfriendlyhotelsandtravel.com. If you are planning to stay with friends or family, confirm beforehand that your pets will be welcome or find a professional kennel safely out of the flood’s reach where you can board them.
- Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier for each pet, and photos of each animal with family members to prove ownership if they are lost.
- Affix an identification tag to each pet’s collar so he or she can be more easily reunited with you if you are separated.
“For both human and animal safety, people should never their pets behind when disaster strikes,” said UAN president Nicole Forsyth. “Animals left to fend for themselves during floods suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left at home.”
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free temporary sheltering for communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises. EARS volunteers are specially trained to set up and operate temporary animal shelters, where they feed and care for displaced animals until they can be reunited with their families or placed in new homes.
Get more disaster tips at www.uan.org.
Emergency management and animal control agencies in Oklahoma City can call UAN at (916) 429-2457 for temporary sheltering assistance.
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education.
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