Always take your pets with you. Pets left behind may be injured, lost, or can suffer from starvation, exposure, predators, or accidents. Your pet will be safter with you.
Do not wait for a mandatory evacuation order, or you may discover that you and your pets have fewer options.
Q: Where can my pet and I go during an evacuation?
A. There are currently two locations in Colleton County that server as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters but they do not accept pets. Plan ahead for pet sheltering. Pets are not allowed in most public emergency shelters for health and space reasons. For a list of pet-friendly lodging go online to one fo the following websites:
Q: What can I do to prepare my pet for disaster?
A. Microchip your pet: A microchip is a tiny transponder about the size of a raw grain of rice and is made of biocompatible material. Using a large syringe, a veterinarian implants it into the skin beneath your dog's shoulder blades. This placement is permanent. The implantation procedure doesn't hurt nay more than any other injection, and there's no need for local anesthetic. If your pet becomes separated from you during an emergency, your pet can be "scanned" by shelter personnel or most veterinarians and tied directly to you. For more information, contact your veterinarian or visit one of the following websites:
2. Crate Train your pet: It is important that you have a crate or travel carrier on hand, for use during an emergency. If your pet is not trained to spend time in this crate, it can be a very anxious experience for him or her. Train your pet ahead of time to feel comfortable in their crate.
3. Take photos: Taking photos of your family members with your pets can help identify who a pet belongs to during an emergency. Clearly label each family member by name, include as much contact information as possible on the photos and laminate them or keep them in waterproof containers.
4. Be sure ID tag information is current: Many people will move and their last thought is to update the little tag hanging frm their dog or cats collar. Updating this informaiton is a simple and inexpensive way to be sure you are reunited with your pet.
5. Create a "Buddy System" with your neighbors: Visit with your neighbors and friends to discuss what each of you plan to do with your pets in the event of an emergency. If you are absolutely unable to take your pets with you, it is vital that you have a plan in place ahead of time.
Q: What items do I need to have for my pet in my Disaster Kit?
A: A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a PET would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. Keep in mind that many of the items may not be available during an emergency. Purchase them BEFORE you need them. These items include:
- A three day supply of food and water with bowlsPet carrier or cage for each pet with your information on it
- Collar and leashes with ID tags
- Pet's photo with your contact information for identification
- Medical history, vaccination records and proof of rabies vaccine
- Bedding and other pet toys
- Waste bags, paper towels and cleaning supplies
- Medicines, heartworm and flea prevention
- Emergency contact information
- Microchip number, if applicable
- Cat litter and pans
- Manual can opener
For university or livestock and horse evacuation procedures, contact Clemson University's Livestock & Poultry Health at 803-788-2260, or go to www.clemson.edu/public/lph/. You can also contact the South Carolina Department of Agriculture at 803-734-2349
Would you like to do more?
Donations are always welcome in helping us prepare for a disaster. If you are interested in making a donation to our cause or becoming a trained volunteer, please feel free to contact Dr. Lori Campbell at 843-549-5645 or Dr. Rebecca Hughes at 843-538-3384.