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Keep Pets Safe During Hurricane Sandy

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- If you have pets, you need to have a plan to keep them safe during natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, according to the American Kennel Club.

If you're remaining at home during the storm, you need to keep the following items handy: your pet's health records; rabies tag information and medications; food and water bowls; food for one week; at least one gallon of spring water per day for a large dog; a portable kennel or crate; pet bedding; and a collar and leash.

If you need to evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. Most evacuations last only a few days, but you may not be able to return home quickly. The safest place for any pet is with their owner. Be sure to have a sturdy crate or carrier ready for transporting animals in the event of an evacuation, experts from the AKC and AKC Companion Animal Recovery advised in a club news release.

The organization also offers these additional evacuation tips:

  • Your pet should always wear a collar with a rabies tag and identification. It's also a good idea for pets to have permanent identification, such as a microchip, along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. Remember to keep your contact information up to date.
  • Pack an extra leash, collar and ID tag.
  • If your evacuation plan includes staying in a hotel or motel, make sure your pet is welcome there. Many accommodations will relax their pet policy in the event of a crisis, but do not make that assumption.
  • Put a copy of your pet's important papers -- including license, vaccination documents and health records -- in a waterproof bag or container. It's also a good idea to have a recent picture of you and your pet together, which can be used for identification in case you become separated during an emergency.

Proper emergency planning ahead of time can save pets' lives, said Tom Sharp, the CEO of AKC Companion Animal Recovery.

"We are currently in contact with hundreds of AKC-affiliated local clubs in the path of Hurricane Sandy to provide disaster relief needs for evacuated pets at temporary shelters," Sharp said. "AKC [Companion Animal Recovery] stands ready to offer assistance where needed."

More information

The American Red Cross has more about disaster preparedness and safety for pets.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Kennel Club/AKC Companion Animal Recovery, news release, Oct. 29, 2012

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