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The Humane Society of the United States has deployed a team of trained specialists to offer logistical support and supplies, and perform water rescue of animals displaced by the floods. Mass flooding across Iowa has forced thousands of residents from their homes and more evacuations are probable as the rain continues.
"We are on the ground now to help with any animal needs, but it is important for residents to remember that the best way for you and your pet to survive a disaster is to be prepared,” advised Scotlund Haisley, HSUS senior director of emergency services. "If you are asked to evacuate, it is crucial that you take your pet along. Pet owners should have an emergency pet supply kit and a plan that includes the safety of their animals."
The HSUS is coordinating efforts with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
This emergency supply kit should include:
- Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.
- Bowls for food and water.
- Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
- Medications, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies.
- Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
- Small garbage bags.
- For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
- For cats include: litter, litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.
If officials call for an evacuation, pet owners should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, and they must plan their destination in advance. Hotels and motels may be willing to lift "no pet" restriction in an emergency. Friends and family members living outside the area may be able to provide shelter too. (Please check with your local animal shelter or emergency management office to determine if a pet friendly emergency shelter will be set up in your location.)
More than 358 million pets reside in 63 percent of American households. A Zogby International poll found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them.
For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare.
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