After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) teamed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recognize the need for pet owners to have an emergency plan in place for their pets. According to the ASPCA, the following are some easy steps to make ensure the safety of your pet in case of an emergency or natural disaster:
1. Have a Plan. Make sure your family’s plan includes how you will transport your animal(s) in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. Practice that plan at least yearly and share it with your family and friends.
2. Build an Evacuation Kit. The Kit should include the supplies you will need for your pets, including a photo of your pet, medical records, vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry and records should be kept sealed or made waterproof. Make sure that everyone in your family knows where it’s kept. Update your kit each time you change your smoke alarm batteries so it’s easy to remember.
3. Stay Informed. Keep an eye on the weather, follow a projected storm’s path and don’t get caught unprepared. Staying informed also means knowing which shelters house both people and pets, monitoring possible road closures and having alternate travel plans.
4. Know Your Neighbors. It’s best to form a relationship with your neighbors well in advance of a disaster situation. Develop a telephone tree and determine who is home and when. If a disaster occurs while you’re at work, your neighbor may be the only one who can reach your pets.
5. Vaccinate and Microchip. If you’re ever required to shelter your pets, you’ll want them protected against disease. And the single most important piece of advice we can offer is to microchip your pets. It is truly their ticket home.
What should you have in your pet’s emergency evacuation kit? The ASPCA recommends these items:
Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
3-7 days' worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
Litter or paper toweling
Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
Pet feeding dishes
Extra collar or harness, as well as an extra leash
Photocopies of medical records in a waterproof container with a two week supply of any medication your pet may require (Remember that food ad medications needs to be rotated out of your emergency kit every few months or than may go bad and become useless)
Bottled water - at least 7 days' worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and rotate out every 2 months)
A traveling bag, crate, or sturdy container, ideally one for each pet
Recent photos of your pets, in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters or to prove that the pet is yours.
Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys, and week's worth of cage liner
Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
Three dogs, Truvy, Disco, and Shelby, were abandoned to a kill shelter in Laurens County, SC without any hope for rescue and no chances of adoption. Our friends at Sanctuary Rescue notified us that Truvy was pregnant and said they would be able to rescue her, Disco, and Shelby with the help of City Dogs Rescue. These owner surrenders were clearly traumatized by what was probably a life of abuse and neglect. This is the same shelter where recent CDR dog, Katie, came from as well.
Shortly after being rescued, Truvy gave birth to a healthy litter of 6 beautiful puppies. A foster for Sanctuary Rescue cared for her and her pups in Virginia. The puppies nursed with Truvy and shortly thereafter all of them found homes!
Once the puppies were weaned, City Dogs Rescue brought Truvy and Disco to Washington, DC to find homes of their own. We're not sure how Truvy, Disco and Shelby are all related but it seems likely that Truvy is the mother of Disco who seems about 3 to 5 years old and Shelby who is less than year old. Truvy is also about 35 lbs and 3 to 5 years old. We have learned that they are the gentlest, sweetest dogs despite an obviously hard past.
Lindsey, foster of Disco, and her roommates have really helped him learn about the good things the world has to offer. Lindsey notes that she was so sad to see him cower when she went to put on her shoes. He is clearly much more frightened of men, but he is slowly learning how to trust again. Disco takes a few minutes to warm up to new people, but he is completely docile and really enjoys meeting new dogs. Disco loves the dog park and is learning how to play. It's clear he never had toys or treats in his past life, but we've learned Disco really likes cheese.
This week, Disco has been working in the Capitol buildings and sitting in on meetings with the Congressman. "Working" on the Hill has really helped Disco become more socialized around new people. He was even lucky enough to meet "his" SC Congressman! Lots of Members of Congress and staffers on the Hill bring dogs to work, but it's especially nice to see a shelter dog who's come from such dire straits make it all the way to Washington!
Truvy is also doing fantastic in her foster home with CDR photographer Rebekah Feng. Rebekah recently adopted Molly the beagle and has recently opened her home to foster dogs.
Truvy and Disco are low-riders so we think there must be some basset or corgi in them because they are close to the ground. You will not find sweeter dogs and we are so amazed at how far they've come over the past two months. We can't wait till they find their forever homes.
CDR would like to thank everyone who donated for this family and give a special thanks to our fosters!