Dogs and Ike

With Hurricane Ike approaching the Gulf Coast, presents this guide to animal care during a disaster.

As Texans anticipate Hurricane Ike, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert said every family with pets should have an evacuation plan that includes them.

“Typically for a family, the first thing on their mind would be their kids,” said Dr. Linda Willis-Williams, AgriLife Extension director for Harris County. “But the pet is part of the family as well, so preparation for that pet is critical.”

Willis-Williams said three areas of preparation are essential: identification, supplies and means of transportation. “It’s hard to say exactly what the situation will be like during an evacuation for a disaster, so the key is to have all the pet’s paperwork prepared,” she said.

Willis-Williams offered these suggestions for pet identification:

  • Be sure the pet has an identification tag.
  • Label all carriers, bags and pet supplies with permanent marker or other method besides a sticker label, which can be removed or fall off.
  • Prepare an identification bag that includes the pet’s shot records, current photo and an index card with the owner’s name, address and phone numbers. This card should include the contact information of a neighbor or relative who knows the pet and its owner.When gathering pet supplies, include water and food for several days, any medications clearly labeled with their name and instructions, bowls, cleanup supplies, toys or other comfort items.

    Whether evacuating on your own or relying on public transportation, the family pet should be ready to travel.

    “On your way out the door, get that animal ready,” she said. “Large dogs should be on a leash; small pets, cats and little dogs can be placed in a little carrier.”

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