Preparedness is not just for People

May 8th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. According to the American Pet Products Association 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog and thirty-three percent own at least one cat. That translates to approximately 78.2 million owned and 86.4 million owned cats in the United States.

Emergency situations that require any type of evacuation require advance preparation by pet owners. It is important to note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative to determine where to bring pets ahead of time. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. The ASPCA recommends keeping a copy of all medical records along with a photo of the pet in a “pet survival” kit.

Microchip identification is one of the best ways to ensure that a pet will be reunited with its owner. Microchip registrations should include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who resides out of the immediate area.

A Rescue Alert Sticker can be placed in a front window of the home to let rescue workers and others know that pets are inside. The sticker should include the types and number of pets inside and veterinarian contact information.

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