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May 14, 2015

Residents in Path of Typhoon Dolphin Urged to Prepare, Include Pets in Disaster Plans

Humane Society International offers tips to protect pets

Humane Society International

  • iStock photo

As Typhoon Dolphin threatens to take aim at Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Humane Society International reminds residents to prepare by taking some simple – but critical – steps to keep their pets safe in severe weather.

The storm could produce damaging winds and flooding in low-lying areas. Residents in the potential areas of impact should stay up-to-date on the storm’s progress. Pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes the safety of their animals, and always be informed about the potential for evacuation in their area.

Inga Gibson, HSI’s Pacific Islands policy coordinator, said: “We urge residents in Typhoon Dolphin’s path to prepare now and include their pets in those plans. Pet owners should be ready to bring their animals inside if they are able to wait out the storm at home, or take their pets with them if asked to evacuate. Being prepared offers the best chance for everyone to ride out a storm safely.”

Dogs tethered as a means of confinement or other animals left outside may drown, choke to death on tangled leads, or suffer other serious injuries. Pets should be brought inside in the event of heavy downpours, storm surge or high winds. It’s also important to provide for your pets in the event you lose electricity, making certain they have adequate food and water. 

Things you can do right now:

  • Put a collar with visible identification on your pets, including indoor-only pets
  • Check that your pet’s ID tags and microchip information are current. Tags and microchips are life preservers in the event you lose a pet, and will allow whoever finds your pet to notify you quickly
  • Keep pictures of your pets on hand for identification purposes. Ideally, you should also be in the photo
  • Create a pet emergency kit (see below) and refresh the items every few months
  • Talk to your neighbors about how they can help your pets if you are not at home when disaster strikes
  • People who are able to temporarily foster an animal due to the storm are asked to call Guam Animals in Need (GAIN) at 670-653-4246(GAIN)

This emergency supply kit should include:

  • Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings
  • Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies
  • Comfort items such as a toy and blanket
  • Small garbage bags
  • For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area
  • For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport

Pet owners should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, and they must plan their destination in advance. Hotels and motels may be willing to lift "no pet" restriction in an emergency. Please check with your local animal shelter or emergency management office to determine if a pet friendly emergency shelter will be set up in your location. Pet owners should remember that having your pet microchipped dramatically increases the chances of reunion if that pet becomes lost.

**A planned May 18 - 29 spay/neuter clinic in Saipan may be changed due to the storm, please check back for updates**

For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare.

Media Contact:
In Guam: Kelly Koladarci, +1 670-689-5487, kcoladarci@hsi.org
Washington, D.C.:Raúl Arce-Contreras, +1 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org 

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