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Pets in an Emergency

This publication is a compilation of materials available through a wide variety of organizations. It is meant only as a starting point. It does not provide definitive information on safety, housing and caring for animals in an emergency. Pet owners are encouraged to conduct further research on services available for animals should an emergency situation occur in Arlington.

Emergency Response for Animals

In an emergency - whether a house fire, a chemical spill necessitating evacuation, or any other situation where you and your pet can no longer remain in your home - it is important to understand that Red Cross shelters do not accept pets, other than service animals. Many hotels do not, and not all veterinarians offer boarding services.

Providing for your animal(s) is the responsibility of those of us who own and love our pets. Some of the questions to which we individually need answers are:

  • Is my pet's identification information current?

  • Have I made lodging arrangements for my pet - with family, friends, or have I identified commercial establishments that will house my pet?

  • Supplies are an important consideration. Have I packed what my pet needs away from home?

  • Medical considerations are essential. Are my pet's inoculations up to date? Do I have a record of important health considerations? Is it readily available?

  • What if I can't get home because of an emergency. Have arrangements been made with a neighbor or friend to take care of my pet until I can return?

The United States has a long history of tragedy involving companion animals during emergency situations. Animals roaming communities not only encounter threats to their own well-being but also threaten public health and safety. Be part of the solution - not the problem.

Supplies for Pets

The following supply list is based on domestic cats or dogs. It must be tailored to your individual animal and his or her customary needs.

  • Water and a container from which to drink. Travel bottles for dogs and cats are commercially available and inexpensive.

  • Food. It is important to have a supply of food that your pet is accustomed to eating. A bowl.

  • Collar and identification tag. Consider developing a tag with information that can locate you away from home.

  • Extra leash and collar-useful for control and for muzzling if necessary since animals behave differently in an emergency.

  • Regular medications (flea and tick; heartworm).

  • Medical records, including a copy of the rabies certificate, (required by some commercial establishments)and prescription medications. A pet first aid kit and pet first aid book*.

  • Proof of ownership - registration information, adoption records, proof of purchase, microchip information, a picture of you with your pet.

  • Carriers or collapsible crates or Evacsak (for small animals only, available at 1-800-338-ACES).

  • Sanitation supplies-plastic bags, detergent and paper towels for washing bowls, etc.

  • Comfort foods - treats that your animal is accustomed to eating.

  • Favorite toys.

* Consider taking the Red Cross Pet First Aid Course.

Medical Records

NAME:_____________________ BREED:_________________

AGE: __________  PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: _____________



   Type				Date Given		Date Due

RABIES		    	___________		__________
__________________	___________		__________
__________________	___________		__________
__________________	___________		__________



LOCAL VET: _____________________________________
EMERGENCY VET: _______________________________
FAMILY CONTACT:_______________________________
MISSING PETS: www.missingpet

Consider Volunteering

Noah's Wish

Emergency Animal Rescue

Other Sources of Information:

Disaster Psychology for Animals


United Animal Nations

This information is available in other formats for printing out and use as a pamphlet:

This page was last revised on: February 12, 2005.
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