Potential temporary animal shelter sites can include empty buildings, fairgrounds, barns, school gyms, or buildings with fenced-in areas. It's beneficial to find locations near or adjacent to established human shelters. Facilities for temporary sheltering of livestock and horses might include fairgrounds, ranches, or boarding stables. If possible, the plan should identify several sites in different parts of the community.
Pet-friendly shelters put animals and their owners in close-enough proximity that the owners can provide the majority of care for their pets. As public education campaigns become more successful in convincing animal owners not to leave their pets behind during disasters, more families are seeking safe haven with their animals in tow. Although temporary animal shelters fill the need by providing a safe place for pets, some owners resist being separated from their animals.
Foster care means that an animal is cared for in a private home or stable within the community on a temporary basis. In smaller events, temporary shelters may be able to handle displaced animals. However, when the scope of a disaster is very large, a foster program may be considered until animals can be returned to their owners or their owners are located.
Food and Water • Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. • Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to the water you need for yourself and your family. • Pack their food and water dishes
Medicines and Medical Records • Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. • List the name and contact information for your pet’s veterinarian. • Talk with your veterinarian about permanent identification for your pet such as micro-chipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. If your pet has a form of permanent identification, include the recovery’s service’s name and contact information in your kit. • Keep up-to-date copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container in your kit.
Collar with ID Tag, Harness or Leash • Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit.
First Aid Kit • Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
Crate or Other Pet Carrier • If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation, take your pets and animals with you provided that it is practical so do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. • The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down.
Sanitation • Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
Picture of You and Your Pet Together • If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
Familiar Items • Put favorite toys, treats, or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
A List of Contacts • Prepare a list of neighbors, friends or family that may be willing to provide pet “foster care” if your pet can’t go with you to a shelter. • Find a safe place ahead of time by preparing a list of pet boarding services, or hotels and motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.