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Fairbanks Animal Shelter talks emergency evacuation prep for households pets

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 4:47 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With fire season still in effect, the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) Animal Shelter has some advice on preparing a plan in case of a need to evacuate your furry friends.

According to Raeanne Ross, an Animal Control Officer with the FNSB Animal Shelter, a pet plan should include a way to transport your animals, especially if they are larger. “For taking your cat out, it’s not that big a deal. You might take your cat to the vet - so a carrier; [for] a dog, a leash or maybe a carrier. But if you have livestock you need to figure out a way to transport them. So if you have large livestock like horses, a trailer’s a good idea. Goats can sometimes be transported in a smaller vehicle, but also things like chickens, ducks, or whatever you might have.”

Along with having a plan to transport your animals, Ross says having an emergency kit or “go bag” prepared with essentials for pet care is also recommended. “You’ve got to think about what kind of animal that you have. Most people talk about their emergency kit for dogs, and for that you’re going to want your food, your water, [and] some type of dish for them to eat or drink out of. You’re going to want to have some kind of restraint for them, so a leash, or a tie-out, or a kennel. Those are just the bare minimum basics.”

Ross continued, There’s obviously a difference if you have a cat. You’re going to need litter, you’re going to need some type of disposable litter box. The little aluminum baking or roasting pans work really well because you can buy multiples of those and then toss them. You’re also going to want to have some kind of very basic cleaning supplies. [For] a dog you might want little poop pick-up bags, a cat you might want some type of Clorox wipe or some paper towels, and some type of spray.”

Along with the essentials, Ross also says having paperwork and medication are recommended as well. “You’re also going to want to consider medications if your pet has a medication that it needs to take on a regular basis, or a medication that it takes for anxiety. Those are going to be really important, so you want a supply for that. You also want to have the vet records or shot records for your pet in case you do have to board them somewhere, and in case they need that medication refilled. Another good idea is to have a photograph of you and your pet together, and a relatively recent one.”

Ross also recommended making sure that your pet has easily identifiable and up to date information on it. “It’s important to make sure your pet has identification on them at all times, but especially if you are evacuating. You want to make sure the pet has something visual like a tag on the collar, but also something that’s more permanent like a microchip. You want to make sure that the information on both that tag and registered to the microchip is current so if you and your animal get separated, you can be reunited.”

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