When the weather’s worse than raining cats and dogs, you may need to take extra steps to protect yours (along with your fish, hamsters, birds – you name it). As Hurricane Irma threatens Florida, leading to possible evacuations, residents must ensure the safety of every member of the household. That includes pets.
Not all emergency shelters allow pets, however, and this can pose challenges for their owners. Fortunately, there are those throughout Florida that do – but in many cases, there are special considerations, including some that offer space on a first-come, first-served basis.
This helpful page of The New Barker has a list of pet-friendly emergency shelters across the state. We recommend that you reach out to the one nearest you for additional guidance and to make sure you and your pet qualify for space. The Florida Humane Society also has good general information and resources for pet owners.
As you pack up for an emergency shelter, be sure to remember food, medicine and accommodations to handle your pet’s bodily functions. Making sure your pets are properly vaccinated, with documentation to prove it, is important. Cat carriers and the means to ensure that pets cause no harm to other pets or people is critical. Remember that evacuating ahead of a hurricane isn’t just stressful for people – pets can be confused and afraid as well. Take steps to put your pet at ease.
From all the proud pet owners at TECO (and us non-pet-owners too), please join us in taking responsible steps to look out for our loving companions – the ones who can’t speak up for their own needs.