Keeping Pets Safe for Hurricane Season

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Tallahassee - June 2, 2012 - 6:43pm

Bianca Anselmeti is the proud of owner of two German pointers, Scotch and Soda. She makes sure to give them plenty of love and exercise and that they're prepared to evacuate with her if a hurricane should hit.

"We have canned food for them, we have a smaller container of food for them for a few days, " said Bianca Anselmeti

Haven Cook with the Disaster Animal Relief Team in Tallahassee says owners like Anselmeti are not too common.

"The thing that always surprises me is that many people don't own a carrier or a crate," said Cook.

A crate is just one of the many items a pet owner should have in their pet evacuation kit.

Other items include food and water to last three days, a collar and a leash, immunization records, a card with your vet's information, a toy, a blanket, even a brush for comfort. Cook also says you should include a picture of you with your pet in that kit. She says this is just one more way to ensure you can prove ownership. She also says you should write down your pet's microchip number and keep it with you.

"What really opened our eyes was Hurricane Andrew, there were thousands of animals left to stray," said Cook.

Fast forward to 2005 when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf of Mexico leaving thousands more pets stranded. After Katrina, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Safety Act.

"We set up emergency pet shelters right there next to the Red Cross shelter," said Cook. This helps keep the family close even in the worst of storms.

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