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Tips for keeping pets safe during a storm

With the Atlantic hurricane season getting off to a quick start over Memorial Day weekend, the Humane Society of United States sent out a reminder that pet owners need to have an emergency plan that includes their animals.

“More than 60 percent of American households have pets, and weathering a major storm requires an evacuation plan that includes our animals,” said Niki Dawson, director of disaster services for The HSUS. “If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for them. If you are ordered to shelter-in-place and not evacuate, bring your pets inside with you and make sure you have adequate supplies.”

Some suggestions for pet safety include: be sure all pets (including indoor only) wear a collar with visible identification; keep pictures of pets on hand for identification purposes; and create a pet emergency kit and refresh the items every few months.

Pet emergency kits should include: a minimum of a three-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof containers, and drinking water; bowls for food and water; current photos and physical description of the pets, including details on marking; medications, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies; comfort items such as a toy and blanket; and small garbage bags.

For dogs, a leash, harness, and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area is recommended. For cats include litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport and for the cats to use as a temporary “apartment” for several days.

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