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Posted in Animal Services News, Latest Pinellas County Veterinary News

Pinellas County Animal Services News


Hurricane Pet Preparedness

It’s that time of year again! Yes, hurricane season is upon us and here in Pinellas County there is always the potential for us to receive some impact from a storm. Having a plan in place to keep yourself and your family safe is important during the hurricane season. It is also essential that you include your pets as part of your disaster plan. If you are staying home, what will your pet need if your family must survive without the basic necessities after the storm? If you have to evacuate, do you know if pets are allowed where you’re planning to stay? Either way, whether you are planning on staying or evacuating, the first step in being prepared is to have an Emergency Pet Supply Kit on hand. This kit should include the following items:

  • Up to date identification
  • Vaccination records
  • A 2 week supply of food and water
  • A carrier or kennel
  • A 2 week supply of medications
  • Collar, leash and muzzle
  • A current photo of your pet
  • Food and water bowls
  • Favorite toy and blanket
  • Cat litter/pan and a scoop
  • Grooming items
  • Plastic bags to handle waste

If you decide to evacuate during a storm, make sure the place where you’re going accepts your type of pet. Some hotels have emergency policies to take pets in an evacuation, but not all do. It is important to call ahead and confirm that you and your pet will be able to stay there with you. If you plan on boarding your pet at a kennel, make sure the kennel is in a non-evacuation zone. Also make sure your pet is up to date with all necessary vaccinations, as the kennel will require proof of this. Animal shelters such as Pinellas County Animal Services or the SPCA of Tampa Bay cannot accept your pet during an emergency.

Pinellas County does operate three pet-friendly public shelters for dogs and cats only. While at the pet-friendly shelter, owners and pets are housed in different areas. Owners are allowed to access their pet at various times to feed, water and clean up after them. Owners are responsible for providing all of the necessary supplies needed to care for their pet, including a carrier or crate. Remember that space is limited at these shelters and they should be considered a last resort in your plan. For more information please visit: www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/petpreparedness.htm


Robbie Asher, DVM, HABc
Pinellas County Animal Services
12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774

Phone 727-582-2600