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Prepare now to help pets in an emergency

Published: 19 April 2017

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How will you help your pet in an emergency?

In an emergency, events happen quickly and always before you are ready for them.

It’s hard enough to remember what you need to do to look after your family, but there are often other loved family members of the four-legged variety that are relying on you to take care of them.

If you have pets, you are responsible for their safety in an emergency.

Prepare in advance

Don’t wait until an emergency happens. You can prepare today with these tips:

  • Make sure your pet is registered and microchipped, with up-to-date contact details. If you are separated in an emergency, this will make it possible to find them again.
  • Put a name disc on your pet’s collar, with your name, phone number and address on it.
  • Include in your household emergency kit: A carry box, towel or blanket, emergency food, water, vaccination records, lead and muzzle. Put your name, phone number and address on the box in case your pet has to be housed elsewhere.
  • Keep a list of nearby 'pet-friendly' hotels and motels in case you have to evacuate your home.
  • Make evacuation arrangements with friends or relatives outside your neighbourhood.
  • Know where the nearest high ground is in case you need to lead animals there.

In an emergency

  • Take your pets with you if you can do so safely, but don’t waste time hunting for pets if that puts human lives in danger.
  • Welfare or evacuation centres can’t generally accept pets except for service animals such as guide dogs.
  • If your pet is tied up, caged, kennelled or confined and if you can’t take them with you, make sure they can get loose and get to safety by themselves.
  • Emergency services will co-ordinate pet rescues using the best available expertise. Do not return to emergency zones to search for lost pets unless given the all clear. Animal welfare agencies will be coordinated when able to help owners.

Visit Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management for more tips on how to prepare for emergencies. 

Read more:

Civil Defence Dogs