August 29, 2019

ASPCA Urges Pet Owners to Include Animals in Emergency Plans as Hurricane Dorian Approaches


Photo from a previous ASPCA response

Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall, and high winds throughout the next several days, and could intensify to a Category 4 storm by the time it makes landfall over Labor Day weekend. The ASPCA disaster response team is in communications with local and state emergency response agencies and stands ready to assist displaced animals and pet owners upon request.

"The ASPCA strongly urges residents in the pathway of Hurricane Dorian to bring their pets with them if they have to evacuate their homes," said Dick Green, Senior Director of ASPCA Disaster Response. "Many disasters can strike in a moment’s notice, but we have time to prepare before Hurricane Dorian makes landfall, and a pet’s first line of defense is a well-prepared owner. By following the necessary steps to incorporate your pets into your preparedness and evacuation plans, you could be saving a life and keeping your family – including your pets – together." 

The ASPCA is urging pet owners to take the following steps:

  • If you evacuate, take your pets with you. Never leave your pets behind or tether them to poles or trees, which prevents them from escaping high waters and getting to safe areas.
  • Make sure all pets are wearing ID tags with up-to-date contact information. The ASPCA also recommends checking microchip registration information to ensure that contact information is up-to-date as well. 
  • Create a portable pet emergency kit with essential items including medical records, water, water bowls, pet food and your pet’s medications.
  • Choose a designated caregiver, such as a friend or relative outside the evacuation zone, who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.

For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, see our complete list of preparedness tips and special considerations for different types of animals.