Horses threatened by Jackson Highway blaze show that animals are vulnerable when disaster strikes
SACRAMENTO, CA (June 11, 2008) – As several wildfires rage across Northern California and the Sacramento area, including one near Jackson Highway in Sacramento County that threatened dozens of horses at an equestrian center, United Animal Nations (UAN) reminds pet owners to make emergency plans that include their animals.
Animals left behind during natural disasters can get injured, fall ill, die and hamper human evacuation and recovery efforts. To prepare for fires and other emergencies that could force them from their homes, Sacramento area families who have pets or care for animals are advised to:
- Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier, and photos of you with your animals to prove ownership in case you are separated.
- Identify all animals with a tag and microchip so they can be more easily reunited if separated.
- Bring pets along if evacuating. Options for evacuating with pets include:
- Seeking refuge in a hotel that allows pets. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.BringYourPets.com.
- Placing animals in a pet-friendly evacuation shelter. Local Red Cross chapters or the local animal control agency can provide information on the availability of emergency shelters for animals. Visit www.redcross.org to find a local chapter.
- Leaving pets with loved ones or boarding them at a professional kennel safely out of the fire’s reach.
- For horse owners, make sure a horse trailer and truck that can pull it are available. If you do not have a trailer or enough trailer space for the number of horses you have, work out ahead of time other arrangements for transporting your horse(s). Don’t rely on a responding agency to be able to assist you in a fire.
For more disaster planning tips, including tips especially for horses, visit www.uan.org .
“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 Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) program, UAN provides emergency animal sheltering at no cost to communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises affecting animals. Since 1987, UAN has responded to more than 80 disasters, including several wildfires and floods in the Sacramento area.
Founded in 1987, 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.
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