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Evacuating for Hurricane Irma Includes Bringing Your Pets

Courtesy: Express News

Hurricane Irma is quickly approaching Northern Florida, but before you leave, don’t forget to bring your pets. You don’t have a plan of action unless your pet is involved. Why anyone would leave their pets behind to fend for themselves, especially during a killer hurricane, is beyond my understanding, but it’s happening. Rescued animals from Hurricane Harvey were flown out of state for adoption because they were abandoned. Displaced animals are still being taken in from Hurricane Harvey, and sadly the same is expected from the animals of Hurricane Irma.

Grocery stores in Florida sold out of emergency resources, including water and non-perishable foods, almost immediately after Governor Scott issued a press release emphasizing how serious and devastating Hurricane Irma can potentially be. He claimed the state was at the highest level 1, which means our State Emergency team is in full effect. I know of family members and friends who are making trips to Georgia, Louisiana, and Alabama in hopes to find living arrangements there. The same level of preparation should be done for your pets. Hotels are pet-friendly, and if you’re like me who rented a car, the rental company may accept pets to ride in their cars. For your trip, make sure to confine your pet in a carrier or crate and cover it with a blanket. This will help your animal feel safe because they’re just as anxious for Hurricane Irma as you are. Animals can sense storms several miles before the storm becomes apparent to you.

Courtesy: ABC News

PAWS Pet Foundation tweeted, “In Florida, unfortunately, there are thousand of dogs chained up so with Hurricane Irma coming, please bring them in. And add them to your hurricane plans!”

Another thing you want to make sure of is that your pet is updated on their shots and has a collar with a tag in case they get lost. Ensuring your pets are microchipped is even more important. If your pet isn’t microchipped, animal shelters will provide the service for you for less than fifty dollars. Yes, it may be a little steep, but if you really love your pet, it won’t break your wallet. Animals can endure stress, especially if they have just arrived in an unfamiliar place after a long car ride. You never know what could spook them, causing them to flee. If your pet becomes disoriented after the storm, that’s normal. They’re going to experience something they may have never seen before and all you can do is be patient with them. If you’re traveling away from Hurricane Irma, you know it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re worried about not being able to find a place to stay with your pet, there are several pet-friendly shelters in Florida that are welcoming you and your pet. So, whatever you do, make sure to bring your pets along because they depend on you. Make sure to take all of this into consideration when creating your hurricane plan, and most importantly, stay safe!

Some days my spirit animal is Leslie Knope. Other days, it's April.
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