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The HSUS Offers Tips for Pet Owners as Hurricane Katrina Moves West

08/26/2005

WASHINGTON—As Hurricane Katrina continues to move across Florida towards the Gulf, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) urges pet owners to prepare for their pets needs now in case the storm hits their community.

If the need arises to evacuate, keep your pet with you. If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets. Pets that are turned loose or left behind to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, accidents, or exposure to the elements.

Many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, so it's best to plan in advance where you will go. "No Pet" restrictions at hotels and motels might be lifted in an emergency, so it's best to ask. Check with friends and family members who live outside your area to see if they can shelter you or your pets if needed.

In addition, The HSUS suggests that all pet owners have an emergency supply kit for their pets. This kit should include:

• A three-day supply of food and water, as well as bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manual can opener.

• Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them should you and your pets become separated. Pets should wear up-to-date identification, including the phone number of someone out of the area in case your pet becomes lost while you're not at home.

• Medications, medical records and a first aid kit stored in a waterproof container.

• Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely as well as blankets or towels for bedding and warmth. Carriers should be large enough to comfortably house your pet for several hours. For more information about disaster preparedness, visit our Disaster Center.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization representing more than nine million members and constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country. Online at www.hsus.org.
 
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