INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Animal Care & Control wants to make sure that you and your pets are prepared in case of an emergency. One of the shelter’s goals is to provide Marion County residents with accurate and timely information to assist everyday living.
The events of 9/11 brought the issue of emergency pet preparedness to the forefront. The ASPCA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a pioneer in the animal welfare industry and the leader of the nationwide emergency pet preparedness initiative, developed the following steps you can take to ensure that you and your pets are well prepared:
Step 1 Rescue Alert StickerThis easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. The sticker must be visible to rescue workers and should contain:
Step 2 Arrange a Safe Haven Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If you do, they may be at risk for injury or even worse. Red Cross disaster shelters will not accept pets due to health and safety regulations. So it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time.
Step 3 Emergency supplies and traveling kit
Keep an emergency kit handy for your pets. This kit should contain the following:
Step 4 Choose "Designated Caregivers"
This is something that should take considerable time and thought. You should make plans for a temporary home for your pets in the event of an emergency as well as arrangements for a permanent home in the event you can no longer care for your pet.
When choosing a temporary caregiver consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with a neighbor who has pets of his or her own. You may even swap responsibilities depending upon who has accessibility.
When choosing a permanent caregiver other criteria should be considered. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this "foster parent," consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Additionally, you will want to provide a trust for your pet's financial future. Unlike a will, a trust provides for your pet immediately, and can apply not only if you die, but if you become disabled. You may designate your permanent caregiver as the trustee, or choose a separate person to be the trustee of the funds that you have set aside for your pet's care.
Step 5 Evacuation Preparation
Time is of the essence when you must evacuate your home in a crisis. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
Step 6 Geographic and Climatic Consideration
You may live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods. If so, you should plan accordingly.
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