Summer 2012 Magazine

Be Prepared in Case of Emergency!

from the Humane Society of the United States

New Mexico is experiencing an active fire season, and disaster may strike in any part of the state with little warning. If you have to evacuate because of fire, here are some things you need to know.

1. Take your pets with you. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure they have up-to-date identification tags and contact information.

2. Contact hotels, motels, friends, relatives, boarding facilities, veterinary offices, or the local animal shelter BEFORE THE DISASTER so you can find shelter for your animals at short notice if they can't stay with you.

3. Prepare a pet emergency kit in advance. Store medications as well as pet food and water for at least three days, inside watertight containers, along with other emergency supplies (medical records, leashes, harnesses, carriers, current photos and descriptions of your pets, bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manual can opener). Also include information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care. Take pet beds and toys, if possible, to reduce stress on the animals.

4. An evacuation order may come when you're at work or out of the house, so make sure your pets will be provided for. Arrange with a trusted friend or neighbor to take your animals and meet you at a specified location. Be sure that person is comfortable with them, knows where they will be, can find your pet disaster kit, and most importantly, has a key to your home.

For more information on caring for pets, livestock and horses in emergencies, visit

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