Hurricane Pet Preparedness
Here in Pinellas County, there is the potential for hazards as a result of severe weather or man-made disasters. One of the greatest hazards that we face is hurricanes and with the hurricane season running from June 1st to Nov. 30th, we’re just about there again. Having a plan in place to keep yourself and your family safe is essential during the hurricane season. Just like other members of the family, pets need to be part of your disaster plan. If you have to evacuate, do you know if pets are allowed where you’re planning to stay? If you are staying home, what will your pet need if your family must survive without basic necessities after the storm?
Whether you are planning on staying home 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:
- Identification (County License/Microchip paperwork)
- Vaccination records
- Food and water (2 week supply)
- A carrier or portable kennel
- Muzzle, collar, and leash
- Manual can opener
- Current photo of your pet
- Food and water bowls
- Favorite toys 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 host home, hotel or shelter 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. 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
As we all prepare for the approaching storm season, Pinellas County Animal Services is preparing as well. We are requesting that Veterinarians in the county please take the time to complete the short questionnaire and respond by email. Thank you for your time.
Pinellas County Veterinary Survey for Hurricane Season
- What is the name of your Veterinary Hospital?
- What is the evacuation zone for your veterinary hospital?
- Will you continue to operate prior to a storm if not in a required evacuation zone?
- If operating with limited services, what services will continue to be offered?
- If your facility is closing down for the storm event, do you have any staff members who would be interested in volunteering to work with Animal Services at the Pet Friendly Shelters?
- Anyone interested in assisting in a Pet Friendly Shelter, please email your name and contact information.
- Please email responses to AnimalRequests@co.pinellas.fl.us
Bureau Director – Pinellas County Animal Services
12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774
Any practices in Pinellas County that have a confirmed case of canine influenza, please notify Animal Services!
Linda L. Boger
(727) 582-2559 – Fax