Pet Health Issues – Natural Disasters and Pets

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Pet Health Issues – There have been many natural disasters occur in the Untied States this year.  The health of U.S. citizens is always of utmost importance.  But another major concern is the health of pets that have been lost, stolen, or displaced in some way from their owners. 

Some disaster shelters do not allow pets.  This has presented pet owners with very difficult and sickening decisions.  Some have been forced to let their pets fend for themselves as they protect their families in the shelter.

Some pets have been lost during disasters.  Because familiar landmarks and settings have been changed by the disaster, the pet has become confused and unable to reunite with their owners.

Some pet owners have lost a significant amount of their personal possessions during the disaster.  They simply don’t have the resources to take care of their pets.

So what can we do to help?

Animal shelters are overrun with the number of pets they are taking in near the disaster areas.  They are in desperate need for food and supplies for the animals.  Pet owners may be in need of supplies for their pets.  So you should contact local pet shelters and rescue groups of donating food and supplies.

Hopefully many of the pets will be reunited with their families.  But in other situations, it will take time before the owners find their pets.  Still others will never be reunited.

In these cases, you might consider providing foster care for pets until the owner is found or until a loving family decides to adopt the pet.

I read an article that discusses this topic.  It is called, “600,000 US pets impacted by natural disasters this year.”  The author is Val HeimerichHere is a quote from the article:

The American Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPCA) has estimated that more than 600,000 cats and dogs have been affected by natural disasters nationwide so far this year, and that number does not include the many impacted by Hurricane Irene.

The ASPCA has a number of recommendations for pet owners, including creating an emergency kit that is ready to go with items like pet food, water, bowls, a pet first aid kit, collars and leashes, cleaning supplies and copies of pet medical records.

Not all emergency shelters for people accept pets, so it is important to determine in advance where the animals can be taken. Options may include local animal shelters, motels and family members.

A rescue alert sticker can help emergency responders know how many and what type of animals are in your home, and the ASPCA offers a free sticker on their website. Stickers can often be purchased at pet supply stores as well.

Making sure that pets always wear collars with ID tags is important, but microchipping provides a more permanent way to identify who the animal belongs to.

The entire article can be read here.

Ms. Heimerich points out several other things that can be done to relieve this devastating situation for pets and the shelters that are helping them.

She also has several other articles on pet health issues that are very worth reading.

Have you experienced this situation before?  What suggestions do you have to help our pets?

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