​Pets Plan 

 

It's easy enough for you to prepare for disaster. You can make your disaster plan, stock up with everything you and your family need, decide where you're going to evacuate to if it becomes necessary. But what about your pets and livestock? Big animal or small, they're totally dependant on you to help them survive a disaster. Choose a link to find out how you can prepare so that your pets are happy and healthy after a disaster.

Domestic Pets

Palm Beach County is a coastal area, where both surge and rainfall flooding are possible in a hurricane. Even if you do not plan to evacuate in the event of a hurricane or other disaster, you will need to plan ahead if you have pets in your household.

If you plan to remain at home during a disaster, or if you plan to leave your pet at home when you evacuate, you need to ensure that you have:

  • At least a three day supply of food for the animal
  • At least a three day supply of water for the animal
  • Bedding for the animal, placed somewhere that will not be vulnerable to flooding
  • A collar (not a choker chain) with the animal's County Rabies License Tag attached.
  • It is strongly suggested that you attach a waterproof tag container where you can leave a note that provides information where you can be reached, and any medical/behavior information about your pet. Such containers can be purchased at most pet supply stores.

If you plan to evacuate and wish to evacuate your pet as well:

There is currently one shelter in Palm Beach County which take both pets and their owners. However, there is limited space available for housing pets during a disaster. For this reason, it's very important that you plan ahead, and decide what you're going to do with your pet when disaster strikes.

Your choices include either boarding your pet in a Pet Shelter, or evacuating to a hotel or motel taking your pet with you.

Whether you plan to board your pet or take your pet with you to a hotel, there are certain steps you must take ahead of time. Most important is to make sure that your dog or cat is wearing a current County Rabies License Tag (call 561-233-1200, ext. 264 for more information). You can also ask your veterinarian about providing an "Electronic Animal Identification Device " (microchip), or a tatoo for permanent pet identification.

Your Pet Survival Kit should include the following:

  • Food and water for up to 3 days. Food should be wrapped in waterproof bags. You should also include a non-electric can opener if you plan to feed your pet canned food.
  • A pet carrier large enough to permit the pet to stand and turn around.
  • A leash for your pet.
  • Special medicines and first aid supplies.
  • Bedding and grooming tools.
  • Newspaper, cat litter, scoop, and trash bags for handling waste

Livestock

Palm Beach County has seen a tremendous growth in the large animal population. If you have horses, cattle, or other large animals, it is essential that you plan ahead to ensure the safety of your animals as well as yourself.

Make sure you have a way to identify your animal:

  1. Take a picture of your animal with a family member in the photo as well.
  2. Purchase ID bands and place them on both front feet.
  3. Using small animal clippers, body clip the owner's number on the animal's neck.
  4. Braid a luggage tag with medication and owner information into the animal's tail.
  5. Put a leather halter on your animal with a luggage tag attached showing the owners name, address, and telephone number.

If you have to evacuate your large animals:

If you plan to evacuate, have a destination and travel route in advance. Plan to leave 48 hours prior to the anticipated storm arrival. If you choose to board locally, Pompano Harness Track will provide shelter for horses during a storm with prior reservations. To make reservations, contact the Barn Superintendent at 954-972-2000 or 954-968-3318​.

Preparing large animals for a hurricane:

  1. The choice of keeping your horse in a barn or in an open field is entirely your choice. However, if you choose to keep your horse in a barn, the strength of the structure must be considered.
  2. Remove all items from the barn aisle and walls. Flying debris is hazardous to animals, as well as humans.
  3. Have a two-week supply of hay and feed. Wrap the hay in plastic or a waterproof tarp, and store feed in a plastic, water-tight container.
  4. Fill clean plastic garbage cans with water, secure the tops, and place them in the barn.
  5. Prepare an emergency animal care kit (waterproof) with all items normally used. Place in a safe place.
  6. Notfy neighbors where you will be during the storm.
  7. Place a supply of two buckets of water and sufficient hay with each horse. After a hurricane, trees and other debris may block the passage to the barn and you may not have immediate access.

After the hurricane....what to do?

When returning to your home after a hurricane, you may discover that your pets and/or livestock are not on the premises. You should immediately go to the animal shelter closest to your home. Do NOT call the shelters. Be prepared to show proof of ownership, and pay a fee if you find your pet at one of the following animal shelters:

Animal Care and Control
7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach
Domestic animals and livestock
(5 miles west of I-95)

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach
Domestic animals only
(1 miles north of Okeechobee Blvd.)

Boca Raton Animal Shelter
21287 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton
Domestic animals only
(Just west of the Florida Turnpike off Glades Road)

Boynton Beach Animal Control (Public Works)
415 NE 4th Street, Boynton Beach
Domestic animals only
(City of Boynton Beach area only)

Delray Beach Animal Control (Code Enforcement)
400 block of SW 3rd Avenue, Delray Beach
Domestic animals only
(4 blocks south of Atlantic on Swinton under the water tower; City of Delray Beach area only)

Safe Harbor Animal Rescue and Clinic
185 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter
Domestic animals only
(1-95 and then east)

 

 

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