LSU Vets: How to keep your pets safe during Hurricane Delta
BATON ROUGE - As Delta rolls on a path towards Louisiana, residents are making swift preparations to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Many residents have furry members of the family and their needs are also important during hurricanes.
Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU SVM) issued an advisory on what steps pet owners can take to ensure the safety of their domestic animals should they need to evacuate during Hurricane Delta.
The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART – lsart.org), the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (ldaf.state.la.us), and LSU School of Veterinary Medicine suggest the following measures ahead of an evacuation:
WHAT TO DO:
-Don’t leave your pet at home! While most evacuations last only a few days, there are times that you may not be able to return quickly. The safest place for your pet is with you.
-If you are going to a hotel, call ahead and make sure, in advance, that animals are welcome. Many hotels relax their policies during times of crisis, but don’t assume that this will be the case. For on-line information about pet-friendly hotels, check out petswelcome.com or bringfido.com/lodging.
-If you are staying with friends or family, make sure that your pets are invited as well. If not, ask for recommendations of nearby veterinary hospitals or boarding kennels and make reservations in advance.
-Be sure that your pets are up-to-date on all vaccinations and bring proof of vaccinations with you. It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian now for a copy of your pet’s vaccination record. Keep this with your emergency kit.
-If your pet is on medication, bring at least a two week supply.
-Identification of your pet is crucial! The ideal form of identification is a microchip* or a tattoo. At minimum, your pet should have a tag with his name, your name, and your phone number on it. Pictures of your pet that capture identifying features are also a good idea.
*A microchip is a tiny permanent identification tag, placed under your pet’s skin by your veterinarian. By registering your name and address with the microchip company, your pet can be scanned and instantly identified at any animal facility.
WHAT TO BRING:
-Enough pet food for one week
-Harness or collar
-Proof of vaccinations
-Litter box and litter for cats
-Trash bags for stool disposal
-Newspaper or towels for crate lining
-Flea and tick protection
-For exotic pets, bring their entire habitat, including heat lamps and extension cords
Your pet’s kennel should be large enough for him to stand and turn around. Collapsible wire crates are best if your pets might be in a non-air conditioned environment for an extended period. A battery-operated fan that can attach to the cage can be a much appreciated addition. Molded plastic airline-approved crates make for easier transport and are best for animals that don’t travel well in the car.
People with special needs or people without transportation who have pets contact their parish emergency managers (e.g. the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness) well ahead of time so that they can be registered for requiring special assistance in a disaster situation. You may need to contact the parish emergency manager via the parish sheriff’s office. For a list of parish emergency preparedness offices and contacts, go to gohsep.la.gov/ABOUT/STATE-REGIONS.
If your pet requires emergency medical care after-hours, you can bring your pet to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertman Drive; the hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for emergency cases. For pets and small exotics, call 225-578-9600, and for horses and farm animals call 225-578-9500. The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital typically stays open during hurricanes, but please call first to be sure that the hospital is accessible and we are able to accept patients following a disaster.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 32 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana.
For more information, visit: https://www.lsu.edu/vetmed/
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