The Star-Herald

Disaster prep for pets

There are many around The County who are looking at the winter’s 13-plus feet of snow and wondering just how fast it will take to melt.  The nights are still cold and the days are struggling to get into the 30s and 40s — which is a good thing, I suppose.

Though we are all so very anxious for spring, the threat of flooding is always a factor when the warm days and spring runoff occur. All it takes is watching the evening news to realize that disasters strike every day and in every corner of the world.  Wildfires, tornado, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, sinkholes, storm surges and mudslides are all serious threats anytime of the year. Here in Aroostook County, we are certainly blessed to experience very few of these disasters; maybe an occasional blizzard or flooding in low-lying areas, but for the most part we are very fortunate to be spared from Mother Nature’s wrath.  

The bottom line is that when disaster strikes, our pets are entirely dependent upon their owner or keeper to ensure their physical safety and emotional well-being.  Amid the chaos that often happens when a natural disaster strikes unexpectedly, it is important to know some emergency tips and what you can do to be ready in the event of a natural disaster.

Paul Mann, Founder and CEO of FETCH! Pet Care, spotlights these fundamental yet crucial pet emergency preparedness tips.

Develop a kit of pet emergency supplies. Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water.

Food and water: Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. Also three days of water for your pet in addition to water for yourself and your family.

Medicines and medical records: Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. 

First aid kit: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book. 

Collar with ID tag, harness or leash: Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit. 

Important documents: Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. 

Crate or other pet carrier: If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you, provided that it is practical to do so. 

Sanitation: Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 8 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before us.  Do not use scented or color safe bleaches ro those with added cleaners.

A picture of you and your pet together: If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership.

And lastly, familiar items: Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kits.

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society and see what amazing pets we have ready for adoption. Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing for lunch from 12 to 12:30.  Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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