Pet Pointers: Your pets in an emergency situation
Hurricane Sandy is being called the ‘storm of the century,’ and millions of people have been affected in several states. Many of these people also have pets, and emergency shelters and rescuers are doing their best to help care for these animals. Lisa Chelenza takes a closer look.
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During Hurricane Katrina, an estimated 250,000 pets were left stranded and struggling to survive in New Orleans. Many pets perished or were scattered to foster homes across the country. Since then, many emergency shelters have changed their policies to allow pets with their people and animal shelters are now better prepared to take in pets until families are allowed to go home again, which could take a week or more. All of New York City’s 76 emergency shelters are allowing pets and according to the ASPCA, shelters in New York and Long Island are housing over 400 pets.
If you are asked to evacuate and preparing to stay in a shelter with or without your pet, be sure to grab enough pet food and water for at least a week. Having a leash and a hard shelled pet carrier for each pet is also helpful. Pets may have to stay in a carrier for an extended period of time so having a carrier that is large enough for them to stand up and turn around in will make them more comfortable. A worn t-shirt and a favorite toy can also be comforting especially if you will not be able to stay with them.
With more pet-friendly shelters along the Eastern seaboard, animal rescuers say it’s still too early to tell but they are hopeful that animals in states most affected by Sandy’s wrath will stand a better chance than they did during Katrina in 2005.