Animals left behind can be injured, fall ill, starve and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts
(April 26, 2011) – As residents of Tennessee and Kentucky prepare for potential flooding and tornadoes from a major storm system, United Animal Nations (UAN) encourages residents to include pets in their disaster planning. Animals left behind during natural disasters can get injured, fall ill, starve, die, and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts.
Families who live in areas threatened by severe weather and flooding are encouraged to:
- Bring all pets indoors so they are easier to round up if you have to flee suddenly and are better protected if a tornado occurs.
- Identify a place where you can evacuate with your pets. Never leave your pets behind to fend for themselves. 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. 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.
- 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 ID tag and collar to each pet so they 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 or other catastrophes suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left at home.”
Get more disaster planning tips at uan.org/disastertips
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free temporary sheltering for communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or large animal cruelty seizures. UAN operated a temporary animal shelter in Marshall County, Tennessee in February 2011 for 98 dogs, removed from deplorable conditions at a mass breeding operation.
MEDIA CONTACT:Alexis Raymond, (916) 429-2457
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.