PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Matthew roared ashore Haiti yesterday as a Category Four Storm, putting the U.S. on alert for heavy rainfall and potential flooding along the East Coast. PetSmart and PetSmart Charities™ offer tips to help pet owners keep their best friends safe during severe weather.
“The best way to keep pets safe during a storm is to be prepared and have a disaster plan,” said Simon Starkey, DVM, one of PetSmart's resident veterinarian and pet care experts. “It is common to overlook pets when preparing for a storm, but taking a few simple steps to include your pets’ needs in your family preparedness plan will help ensure they are comfortable and safe before, during and after a storm.”
Starkey suggests the following pet preparedness measures:
- Ensure your pets are safely contained. When severe weather warnings go into effect, crate or kennel your animals. This is a good time to consider getting a pet carrier if you don’t already have one. These are easy solutions to keep your dog or cat contained and ready to travel at a moment’s notice. Also, have buckets on hand for fish and turtles in the event you need to transport them – this is a safer alternative than transporting these pets in glass bowls or aquariums.
- Look for pet-friendly housing options for your pet should you need to evacuate your home. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, which are often needed for boarding, and that you have enough supply of any medication your pet may be taking.
- Make sure your pet has identification. Countless pets go missing after storms. Proper ID on your pet is the best assurance you and your pet are reunited in the event you are separated.
- Be aware of “paw-level” hazards post-storm. Sharp debris, toxic spilled chemicals, fertilizers and other substances on the floor of the home or ground outside may pose less risk to upright humans, but can be dangerous to ground-level pets.
- Severe weather can be frightening to pets. Provide your dog or cat with a familiar toy or blanket or try aids like calming sprays, collars, chews, supplements or a ThunderShirt™ anxiety shirt to help ease anxiety.
Ensure you have a pet disaster supply kit ready for immediate
departure. Create a kit including the following in an easy-to-carry
- One-week supply of food and fresh water
- Hard copies of each pet’s updated vaccination records
- Extra supply of medication (if refrigeration is necessary, have easy access to a small, insulated bag or cooler)
- First-Aid items such as antiseptic spray, antibacterial ointment and liquid bandage products, which are easy solutions that deliver quick first-aid care in the event of a pet injury
- List of regional pet-friendly hotels
- Bed, carrier or leash for each animal
For additional tips and resources, please visit: https://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/pledge-to-prepare-create-an-emergency-preparedness-plan-for-your-pets
Disaster Relief for Pets in Need
Following a natural disaster, the role of local animal welfare organizations in the impacted communities is crucial for providing immediate support to pets in need and their families.
PetSmart Charities®, the largest funder of animal welfare in the United States, has strong relationships with thousands of local organizations and is available to provide funding support to response teams on the front lines that help displaced and abandoned pets in times of weather crises and natural disasters. With the help of local animal welfare organizations, PetSmart Charities has assisted more than 230,000 pets during emergency relief efforts since 2007. Following the storm, nonprofit organizations are encouraged to contact PetSmart Charities for available emergency relief funding at PetSmartCharities.org/pro.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 53,000 associates, operate 1,477 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and 203 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services in-store. Our portfolio of digital resources for pet parents – including PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, Pet360.com and petMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. Through our in-store pet adoption partnership with independent nonprofit organizations, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, PetSmart helps to save the lives of more than 500,000 homeless pets each year.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. Each year nearly 500,000 dogs and cats find homes through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and sponsored adoption events. Each year millions of PetSmart shoppers contribute to pets in need by making donations directly to PetSmart Charities on a pin pad at the registers in PetSmart stores. PetSmart Charities administers and efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar of the generous donations by issuing grants and providing additional support to help pets in need. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding adoption and spay/neuter programs that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, independent from PetSmart, Inc. PetSmart Charities has received the Four Star Rating for the past 13 years from Charity Navigator, an independent nonprofit that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.