Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:21

Swift Current SPCA shares emergency preparedness for you and your pet

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Daily newsfeeds are stark reminders that emergencies due to floods, fires, weather or hazardous material spills can strike anywhere at any time.

 

In 2016, Fort McMurray, Alberta was ravaged by wildfires where over 1,100 animals, including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and other small pets were evacuated and placed in temporary shelters across the province. No one was prepared for the volume of animals displaced.

As we approach summer, the danger of wildfires and other natural disasters are on everyone’s mind. During National Emergency Preparedness Week May 7 – 13, the Swift Current SPCA, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Federation of Humane Societies, reminds everyone that now is the time to ensure that all your family, including your pets, are prepared in the event of emergency.

1.    Plan for evacuation relocation. The best way to protect your pet in an emergency is to bring it with you. Research where your pet can be taken in case of evacuation including hotels, boarding facilities, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, family and friends.

2.    Include your pet in your family emergency plan exercises.

3.    Identify your pet. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, their identification may be the only way to find them. Make sure each animal is licensed, has a microchip and wears a collar and identification tag at all times which lists owner contact information as information for an alternate contact should owners be unreachable.

4.    Keep your pet’s vaccinations current. Most kennels require proof of vaccinations to accept pets. It is a good idea to keep these papers in the emergency supply kit described below.

5.    Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit. Essential items include:

All Pets
    Food and water (7 day supply of fresh food & drinking water in airtight container)
    Bowls (at least two/pet) & can opener
    Blankets, toys & treats
    Medical/vaccination records, medication & veterinarian contact information
    Recent photos of you & your pet (include species, breed, age, sex, color on reverse)
    Emergency contact information for pet owner & friends outside evacuation area
    Copies of license, microchip & tattoo records
    Cleaning supplies (paper towel, disinfectant, newspaper, plastic bags)
    Pet first aid kit

Dogs
    Strong leash and collar
    Carrier or crate (large enough to comfortably house pet for several hours/days)
    Poop bags

Cats
    Litterbox - with extra litter and litter scoop
    Collar, harness and leash
    Carrier or crate (large enough to comfortably house pet for several hours/days)

Small Animals
    Extra Bedding
    Carrier or crate (large enough to comfortably house pet for several hours/days)

Birds
    Heater

Reptiles & Fish
    Extra Bedding or Substrate
    Extra Lightbulbs
    Extension Cord/Power Bar
    Water Mister
    Water Conditioner
    Filters

6.    During an Emergency

    Keep your pet inside. Animals can sense disturbances and may run and hide.
    Separate pets for their safety and to reduce stress.
    If you evacuate, take your pets, activate emergency plan and bring your supply kit.
    If you must leave your pets in the home, do not tether or cage dogs/cats. Leave a sign on the door indicating what animals are inside. Provide water/food in timed dispensers. Leave toilet seats up.

Be prepared to adapt this information to personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.

About the Swift Current SPCA

The Swift Current SPCA is a local volunteer-directed registered charity which serves approximately 250- 300 domestic pets (cats and dogs) annually, operating 24/7 – 365 day a year no-kill shelter services. It provides shelter, food, medical care, mandatory spay/neuter and socialization and adoption services for shelter pets, as well as microchipping for shelter and public pets. It also provides pound care and fee collection services for pets impounded by City of Swift Current Animal Control.  The SPCA has operated community-funded animal shelter services in Swift Current since 1973.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Humane Societies is a professional association which empowers and strengthens its members through education, advocacy, networking and collaboration, while serving as a collective voice for Saskatchewan Humane Societies and SPCAs.  The Federation envisions a future where its alliance, advocacy and professional development builds a strong collaborative network of Humane Societies and SPCAs which support a province of communities which are safe and healthy for both people and animals. 

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