Is the abandonment of pets and animals during a hurricane or tropical storm a problem? Yes, each year a significant number of pets and animals are abandoned during these types of storms when their owners evacuate an area likely to be impacted by dangerous weather conditions from these type storms.
In most cases, it results from an owner making a late and hasty decision to leave an area because of a change in category status or track of an active storm.
The key to preventing this centers on owners considering the safety and care of their pets just before the hurricane season preparations start. With early planning, implementing a quick decision evacuation can insure the safety of dogs, cats, and other household pets who will be affected by dangerous weather if they are abandoned or left in a home.
During Hurricane Florence along the NC coast in 2018, local shelters reported a 890% increase in abandonment before and after this system impacted the coast of North Carolina.
Talk To Your Veterinarian About Emergency Sheltering
In addition to early planning and preparations, we encourage owners along the Gulf, Caribbean, and Atlantic coast to talk with their veterinarians in early May each year about local options available for emergency sheltering services either through a veterinarian, or some other agency.
In many locations along coastal cities and towns, these services are available. If it’s not in your area, then perhaps talking with a local veterinarian about starting this service would be a good idea.
EDUCATION: Can You Stop A Hurricane?
If you do have this talk with your provider, let us know about it using the form below so when people are searching for information on this topic, they can find this article.
If this service is not available locally in your county, parish, city, or town, early planning will help you identify family and friends who are in safe homes with a generator locally who could watch pets when you flee an area because of a mandatory or voluntary evacuation.
In our research, it makes no difference if a animal is left in a home alone during these types storms, or whether they are left outdoors.
Because of the nature of tropical storms and hurricanes, fire risk, roof collapse, trees falling through the roof, and fast moving flooding water is just as risky indoors as it is outside.
EDUCATION: Tornado And Waterspouts In These Systems
Again, using the form below and as a pet owner who lives in a coastal region impacted by these storms, what are some other tips you’ve found useful during these events to insure the safety and well-being of our animal friends?
Again, we encourage you to use the form below to tell us about volunteer efforts in your local county or parish which addresses this growing problem as storms become more frequent and stronger resulting in more frequent evacuations of pet and animal owners.