October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month, SPCA of Texas Urges Public to Include Pets in Disaster Planning

Four Entrepreneurs Found Plaza Pet Club, Develop First High-Rise Disaster Evacuation Plan

(DALLAS, TX); September 29, 2014—October is National Animal Safety and Protection month, the perfect time to make advance preparations for a disaster and to include pets in those plans. The SPCA of Texas recommends that area residents ensure that they have a plan ready to follow in case of unforeseen tragic circumstances such as a natural disaster, a forced evacuation, or a situation from which they might never return home.

One local group of residents has done just that. To ensure their animals would be safe even if they were not at home when a disaster occurred, Barbara Faulkner, SPCA of Texas Board Member Stacey Kivowitz, Donna Yablon, and Denise Yates, all homeowners at The Plaza at Turtle Creek, have teamed up to found the Plaza Pet Club. The club has set in motion a plan for emergency evacuation of residents’ animals should a fire, flood, tornado or other disaster require evacuation of their high-rise homes. The group will gather with all Plaza animal lovers on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Kivowitz penthouse to launch the Pet Club with a presentation at 6:15 p.m. by Paul Kline, DVM at CityVet, a key partner in the Plaza Pet Club’s Evacuation Plan. The club plans to meet quarterly to discuss seasonal safety topics and hopes to spread the word about the importance of groups like this so that the idea spreads nationwide.

For pet owners looking for a few tips on how to protect their own pets in case of disaster, or would like some pointers to start the conversation with their friends and neighbors about starting a similar animal safety group plan, the SPCA of Texas recommends the following:

  • If an emergency forces you to evacuate, take your pets with you! If conditions are too dangerous for you to remain, then they are also too dangerous for your animal companions.
  • Have your pet spayed or neutered now if they are not already altered This will help them live long, happy lives and will also prevent unwanted litters from being born.
  • Make sure that you have appropriately-sized pet carriers for each of your animals. Write each pet's name on its carrier, along with your contact info and that of an emergency contact person.
  • Have a harness and/or leash for each of your pets. When under stress, even the calmest dog or cat may try to run away from you.
  • Attach ID tags to your pets. Be sure to include the name and phone number of a friend or family member that is outside of your area. Also, having your pets microchipped provides a permanent way of identifying your pet should disaster strike. 
  • Make sure that you have enough emergency rations for at least one week: pet food, bottled water, bowls and a can opener. Also be sure to bring along a supply of any medications that your animals are taking. For cats, don't forget a litter box and cat litter!
  • Assemble a packet of information for each of your pets and place the documents in a Ziploc bag. The packet should include: Your contact information, a health certificate with current vaccination information, our veterinarians contact information, current photographs of your pets and info about your individual pets.
  • Assemble a first-aid kit that includes sterile gauze pads and rolls, bandages, alcohol prep pads, instant ice packs, latex gloves, hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, antiseptic solution, antibiotic ointment, a small flashlight, scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, a blanket, and a spare collar and leash.
  • A list of various hotels that accept pets. If you have advance warning, make reservations and plans to leave as early as possible. If you wait, hotels could be booked.

Once you have your plan, go over it with your family on a regular basis and be ready to put it into action when needed.

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Jose

SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner