Are you prepared?

Have an emergency plan for you and your pet

September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and as recent events on the East Coast have shown, it pays to be ready for an emergency. A recent poll by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shows that 35 percent of pet owners do not have an evacuation plan. Additionally, only 28 percent of dog owners and 24 percent of cat owners have microchipped their pets, and 21 percent of dog owners and 46 percent of cat owners have no form of ID on their pets—making the likelihood of reuniting after separation slim to none. ASPCA advises to always evacuate with your pet in cases of emergency. Here are some tips:

• Arrange a safe haven. Do not leave your pets behind—find a place for them to be safe, whether it’s knowing pet-friendly hotels or motels outside your immediate area, or having family or friends who are willing to take them in.

• Put together an evacuation kit. Pack supplies for yourself and your pets, including food, water bowls, extra leashes and medical records. Don’t forget pillows, blankets and toys!

• ID your pet. Microchipping is preferred, but at the least, keep a collar with identification tags on your pets at all times.

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