Staff Writer Carrie Coppernoll reports (from the Pet Show blog)
The tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma were a reminder to pet owners how important identification is.
Severe weather can rip down fences, pull down walls and leave pets confused and scared. At least one veterinarian is helping reunite lost dogs with their owners. The best way to ensure a pet is returned is by microchipping, he said. Collars and tags can sometimes be caught and torn by debris. Microchips stay under the skin and can be tracked by any vet or shelter official.
Here is some more information from the ASPCA about disaster readiness:
- The Pet Evacuation Transportation Safety (PETS) Act, passed after Hurricane Katrina, allows owners to take their companion animals with them to shelters. Contact the shelter before you show up to make sure it’s OK. Some shelters are designed for animal owners.
- Practice getting your animal out of the house so it isn’t scary or difficult. This is especially important for cat carriers.
- Owners with pets that require special temperature settings, such as reptiles, need to have duplicates of everything, such as heaters. Fish owners should have a small, transportable tank ready.
- Socialize your pet as much as possible in case they come in contact with rescuers or other people at the shelter.
- Keep an emergency kit of your pets needs, such as any medicines and some food, that you can take with you. Be sure to keep a photo of you with your pet if you get separated and have to claim him.