Keep your pets safe!

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  • <B>Andrew Hook&#146;s dog Uzi ran away during a storm last year. He was gone for over two weeks. Mr Hook put up posters asking people if they had seen Uzi. He also asked for help on Facebook. Lucky for him 14-year-old Paul Douglas spotted Uzi outside Howards in Devonshire and called Mr Hook. </B>

    Andrew Hook’s dog Uzi ran away during a storm last year. He was gone for over two weeks. Mr Hook put up posters asking people if they had seen Uzi. He also asked for help on Facebook. Lucky for him 14-year-old Paul Douglas spotted Uzi outside Howards in Devonshire and called Mr Hook.

Bermudians love their pets so it is no surprise they get worried about them when a hurricane approaches. The Bermuda Government’s Emergency Measures Organisation has a number of tips for those pet owners on how to keep your pets safe.

They also warn pet owners that official hurricane shelters will not accept pets.

So they urge pet owners to plan ahead and not wait until, the last minute to find shelter for your animals.

The EMO advises pet owners to:

Contact hotels to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of “pet friendly” places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.

Ask friends, relatives, or others whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.

If you decide to leave the Island before the storm, the best thing to do is to evacuate your pets with you. Contact the Department of Agriculture well in advance to make sure your pet complies with all re-import requirements.

Assemble a portable pet

disaster supplies kit:

Like you, your pet will need essential supplies during and after the storm. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily (duffle bags, covered trash containers, etc.). Your pet disaster supplies kit should include:

n A first aid kit, including medications and medical records.

n Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers for transportation.

n Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.

n Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and can opener.

n Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

n Medical records, if available

n Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

What to do as the storm approaches:

At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.

n Call to confirm hotel reservations or shelter arrangements for you and your pets.

n Check that your pet disaster kits are ready to take at a moment’s notice.

n Bring pets into the house to avoid searching for them if you have to leave.

n If you must leave your pet at home, prepare an area that is easily cleaned, such as a bathroom or utility room. Do not leave the animal near a window. Leave several days supply of dry food and water in non-spillable containers.

n Dogs and cats must wear securely fastened collars with up-to-date identification. Write down your contact details on a temporary tag or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet’s ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen.

n If you are off island when a storm approaches, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to take care of your pets. This person should be comfortable with your pets, know where your animals are likely to be, know where your pet disaster supplies kit is kept, and have a key to your home.

Other considerations:

Animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. Don’t leave animals unattended anywhere they can run off. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite or scratch. And, when you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines. Consult your veterinarian if any behavior problems persist. Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier. Provide a few slices of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content. Have a photo for identification and leg bands. If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels and change them frequently. Do not let the birds out of the cage or carrier.

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Published Jun 1, 2012 at 11:29 am (Updated Jun 1, 2012 at 11:28 am)

Keep your pets safe!

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