Received an interesting press release from InterVet yesterday. This may be something some of you are interested in purchasing, but even if not, they make many helpful points about keeping your dog safe.
Microchipping and Enrollment in HomeAgain® Database is Critical in the Event of Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Other Natural Disasters
Roseland, N.J., June 1, 2009 – According to the National Weather Service, Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth, and can face natural disasters ranging from tornadoes and hurricanes to thunderstorms, floods, wildfires and earthquakes – depending on where they live. Today, the summer storm season is officially here, and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health encourages pet owners to take the necessary steps to protect their pets should disaster strike.
“Four years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and in many floods, fires and tornadoes since, we learned the importance of being proactive when it comes to pet safety,” says Gary MacPhee, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Director, HomeAgain Business Unit. “Even the most responsible pet owners can become accidentally or unexpectedly separated from their pets, especially during a time of crisis. Microchipping and enrolling your pets in a national pet recovery database offers the best chance of being reunited with them if they get lost.”
Microchipping is a permanent form of pet identification that—unlike a collar and tag alone—cannot fall off, wear out, or become impossible to read. A veterinarian can implant the microchip. The procedure is quick and inexpensive, and no anesthetic is required. Your pet should not react any more than he would to a routine vaccination. MacPhee says that if your pets are already microchipped, it’s important to make sure they are enrolled in a national, secure recovery database such as HomeAgain (www.homeagain.com).
“Enrolling your pet’s microchip ID and keeping your contact information up-to-date in a national pet recovery database is as important as getting your pet microchipped to begin with,” says MacPhee. “Recently, a cat lost in Seattle for nine months was reunited with its owner, even though the owner had relocated to Tucson, Ariz. The owner took the time to update his contact information in the HomeAgain database prior to his departure, so a successful reunion could take place.”
Using a microchip can help save pets’ lives and reduce the burden of overcrowding on animal shelters in the event of a disaster, but there are additional ways to prepare your pets for an emergency situation.
Evacuation shelters (for people) generally don’t accept pets except for service animals, so it’s important to look into alternatives to make certain your family and pets will have a safe place to stay. Research pet-friendly hotels or motels or check with friends, relatives, veterinary offices or boarding facilities to see if they will care for pets in an emergency.
The Humane Society of the Unites States suggests creating a disaster kit specifically for your pet. Then store the contents in a waterproof container or bag that can be easily transported. If residing in an area prone to seasonal disasters, such as flooding or hurricanes that may require evacuation, create a kit and keep it in the car. Contents of a pet disaster kit may include:
Food and water for at least five days for each pet
Medications and copies of medical records along with the name and number of your veterinarian
Cat litter box, litter, garbage bags
Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers along with blankets and towels
Current photos and descriptions of your pets
Pet beds and toys
Information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions or other unique behavioral challenges
HomeAgain is a national pet recovery service that goes beyond microchipping. Once enrolled, a pet’s microchip will be registered in the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database for its lifetime. In addition, the annual HomeAgain membership includes:
Live Pet Recovery Specialists always available at 1-888-HomeAgain
Lost Pet Alerts with a Lost Pet Poster sent to veterinary clinics, shelters and PetRescuers
24/7 Emergency Medical Telephone Assistance
Medical Insurance for Lost Dogs or Cats, up to $3,000 (less a $50 deductible) offered by PetFirst Healthcare
Travel expenses of up to $500 for dogs or cats found more than 500 miles from home
HomeAgain memberships are renewable annually for a fee of $14.99.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!