PETA offers information for safeguarding animals during flooding

Staff reports

As the area prepares for possible flooding, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of companion animals should residents experience major flooding or be forced to evacuate.

The following information could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds, and other companion animals who should be included in disaster preparation plans:

·         During a flood, never leave your animals outdoors, tied up, or confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising waters.

·         In the event of an evacuation, never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren't any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.

·         Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims don't often allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.

·         Never leave animals unsupervised in a car; they can panic and try to escape, and/or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.

·         Place small animals in secure carriers and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, your animal's favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least a week.

·         Make sure your dog(s) and cat(s) are microchipped, but also put legible ID tags with your cell phone number on your animals so that they can be found in case they get separated from you.

·         Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who are left behind by neighbors. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal's condition and location and call authorities for help as soon as possible.

A copy of PETA's disaster-preparedness public service announcement is available to link to or download from PETA.org.