Pet Safety During Emergencies

Pet safety during emergencies

Pet safety during emergencies: Emergencies take many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, major storms, and even acts of terrorism. In the event of an extreme weather event or disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet? Be Prepared – Make a plan and put together a kit for your pet. You can find out what kinds of pet shelters and help are in your area. This information can help you include your pets in your disaster plan to keep them safe.

Before an emergency

make a plan

  • Prepare a pet disaster kit so that the evacuation of the whole family can go smoothly. Ask your veterinarian to help you gather your pet’s medical history.
  • Plan where you and your pet will stay in case you have to evacuate your home. Pets may not be accepted at local shelters unless they are service animals. Many disaster evacuation centers (such as those run by the Red Cross) do not accept pets or other animals.
  • Create a system with friends and neighbors ( buddy system ) in case you are not home during an emergency. Ask a trusted neighbor if they can make sure your animals are okay and evacuate them if necessary.
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you might seek temporary shelter and add their contact information to the emergency kit.

Shelter your pet during an emergency

  • Identify shelters or houses of friends or relatives who live out of town, where your pets and other animals can stay.
  • Locate animal facilities or hospitals that provide shelter near your evacuation shelter, and in case you cannot return home right away.
  • For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets or other animals. However, the American Red Cross allows the boarding of all service animals in its shelters.
  • Has your pet microchipped with your updated contact information and an emergency contact outside of your immediate area?
  • See the CDC’s Disaster Preparedness for Pets site for a list of websites where you can search for pet-friendly hotels.

Prepare an emergency kit for your pet

The CDC’s “Preparing Pets for Disasters” recommends that you pack the following in an emergency kit:

  • Food and water for each pet for no less than about fourteen days.
  • For cats: litter box and litter for the box.
  • For dogs: plastic poop bags.
  • Medicines for at least 2 weeks.
  • Medical history, including rabies and other immunization records, prescription medications, and medical history.
  • Straps or harnesses of resistant material.
  • Pet carrier or cage.
  • Microchip number.
  • Contact information (cell phone, work, home) of the owner and a close relative or friend.

Practice evacuating your pet

  • Know where your pet might hide when stressed or afraid.
  • For cats, you can practice getting your cat out of her hiding place and using her pet carrier, pillowcase, sturdy box, or anything else that allows you to quickly get her out of harm’s way.
  • Train your pets to stay in your pet carrier by adapting it to make it a comfortable place for them. Have the whole family practice evacuating with pets so everyone knows what to bring, where to find the animals, and where to meet.

During an emergency

Taking shelter during an evacuation

  • During a disaster, remember that what’s good for you is also good for your pet. If you leave without your pets, they could get lost, get hurt, or worse. Never leave a chained pet outdoors.
  • Contact your local emergency management office and ask if they have places of shelter for people with pets. If you need to find a place for your pet, contact local veterinary clinics, animal boarding establishments, local animal shelters, family or friends who live outside the evacuation area, or animal-friendly hotels, especially along the evacuation route. evacuation. 
  • external icon to find a shelter in your area.
  • Make sure to take your pet survival kit with you.

Take refuge in the place where you are

When sheltering in with your pet, be sure to choose a room that is practical for the pet, with the following features:

  • Choose a safe room, preferably indoors, with no (or very few) windows.
  • Remove all toxic plants and chemicals from the room.
  • Close off small areas where a terrified cat could get trapped (such as vents or under heavy furniture).

Diseases that can spread between people and pets during a natural disaster

Natural disasters can contribute to the transmission of some diseases. Exposure to bad weather, standing water, wild or unfamiliar animals and plants, and overcrowding can put your pet at risk for illness. Some of these diseases can be transmitted between people and pets (also known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses).

Some common disaster-related illnesses that pets can pass to people include rabies, leptospirosis, and diseases spread by mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system of both animals and people. Rabies is transmitted through the bite of rabid animals or contact with their saliva. To protect yourself and your pet, notify medical personnel immediately of all bite injuries. Practice how to safely handle pets in stressful situations. Keep your pet in a transporter or on a chain. Try not to permit your pet to cooperate with different creatures.

  • Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria found in the urine of infected animals that can damage the kidneys and affect other organs. It is spread through contact with infected urine or contaminated water, soil, and food. Wash your hands after coming into contact with urine. Avoid standing water, especially after floods that follow natural disasters. Do not let pets play in contaminated water or drink it.
  • Mosquito, Flea, and Tick-Borne Diseases: Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are common pests of stray animals and can be a problem right after a disaster strikes. Their bites irritate the skin and can also transmit a variety of diseases ( Lyme disease, West Nile virus ) harmful to both humans and animals. To help prevent diseases associated with mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, keep your pet away from wildlife and stray animals. Talk to your veterinarian about using a preventive treatment for your pet against fleas, ticks, and parasites.

After an emergency

After an emergency, familiar smells and landmarks may have changed. Pets can become disoriented or lost; That’s why it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a pet carrier when transporting them to you or when you go out. Some of the dangers to be aware of for pets and people include snakes and other wildlife, especially after a flood, and downed power lines.

on returning home

  • Check your home for sharp objects, spilled chemicals, and exposed wires to protect your family and pets from injury.
  • Animal behavior may change dramatically after a flood, flash flood, storm, or hurricane. Animals that are normally friendly and calm may become irritable.
  • Monitor animals closely and release them only in a safe and secure environment.
  • Contact a veterinarian assuming you notice any indications of stress, distress, or ailment in your pets.

Find a lost pet

  • Make sure your family is in a safe place before you start looking for your pet.
  • If you are in a shelter that boards pets, let one of the pet sitters know. Give him notice with the information of the lost pet.
  • Many shelters and organizations house pets lost during disasters. To find out about shelters or organizations near you, contact your local humane society, animal welfare organizations, or your state or county animal emergency response team. The National Coalition for Animal Rescue and Shelter external icon could also help you find the right local response organization.
  • In addition to shelters and rescue organizations, you can contact your local animal control office to let them know about your lost pet and post notices in the area once conditions are safe.
  • If your pet is microchipped, call the microchipping company to let them know it was lost and to make sure all of the pet’s information, including your current contact information, is current and up-to-date.

pet first aid

  • Pet first aid and emergency treatments should never be used as a substitute for veterinary care. But they can save your pet’s life before you can see your vet.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association external icon offers specific advice on basic first aid for poisoning, seizures, fractures, external or internal bleeding, burns, choking, heatstroke, and what to do if your pet has no heartbeat or isn’t relaxing.

Other support or therapy animals

While Emotional Support Animals or Comfort Animals are often used as therapy animals as part of a medical treatment plan, these support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but they are not specially trained to perform tasks that help people with disabilities.

Albeit a few states have regulations that characterize treatment creatures, these creatures are not restricted to working with individuals with inabilities and subsequently are not covered by government regulations that protect the use of service animals. Treatment creatures give remedial contact to individuals, typically in a clinical setting, to work on their physical, social, enthusiastic, as well as mental working.

Tips for handling injured pets

  • Even with the sweetest of pets, if they are injured, never assume they won’t bite or scratch you.
  • Torment and dread can make creatures unusual or even hazardous.
  • Don’t try to hug an injured pet as this could startle or cause pain, and always keep your face away from the animal’s mouth.
  • Any contact you have with your pet should be done slowly and gently.
  • Stop if the animal becomes restless or stressed.
  • Try to get your pet to the vet as quickly as possible without risking injury or illness to yourself or your family.

Animal Control Rescue

PHS/SPCA is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by San Mateo County (and its cities) to provide state-mandated animal control services and includes the following:

  • animal rescue
  • Pick up stray/injured animals
  • Remove dead animals from public access roads, which does not include highways/roads (maintained by CALTRANS).
  • Apply the laws that protect animals and people.
  • Pick up dead or live wild animals on private property (only when the wild animal has had direct contact with humans and/or domestic animals such as bites/attacks)

The individual city (not PHS/SPCA) handles the following:

  • Barking dog complaints.
  • Park patrol (including dog parks).
  • Situations where the resident has too many legal and non-legal animals such as ferrets or alligators.

Laws and Compliance

Public facilities and places

Title II of the ADA covers facilities, activities, and programs of state and local governments. Title III of the ADA covers public places. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act covers facilities, activities, and programs of the federal government. It also covers entities that receive federal funds.

Title II and Title III Complaints – These can be filed through private lawsuits in federal court or directed to the US Department of Justice.

U.S. Department of Justice

 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

 Civil Rights Division

 Disability Rights Section – NYA

 Washington, DC 20530 is external)

 800-514-0301 (v)

 800-514-0383 (TTY)

Complaints related to Section 504 – These must be filed with the specific federal agency that oversees the program or funding.


Title I of the ADA and Section 501 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination in employment. The ADA covers private employers with 15 or more employees; Section 501 applies to federal agencies and Section 504 applies to any program or entity that receives federal financial assistance.

ADA Complaints – A person must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the alleged ADA violation. This period may be extended to 300 days if there is a state or local fair employment practices agency that also has jurisdiction over this matter. Objections might be documented face to face, via mail, or by phone by reaching the closest EEOC office. This number is recorded in most phone registries under “US Government.” For more data: is external)

 800-669-4000 (voz)

 800-669-6820 (TTY)

Section 501 Complaints – Federal employees must contact their agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer within 45 days of an alleged Section 501 violation. 501.

Complaints related to Section 504 – These complaints must be filed with the federal agency that funded the employer.


The Fair Housing Act (FHA), as changed in 1988, applies to lodging. Segment 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 disallows separation based on inability in all lodging projects and exercises that are either led by the Federal government or that get Federal monetary help. Title II of the ADA applies to lodge given by state or neighborhood government elements.

 Complaints – Complaints related to housing may be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. is external)

800-669-9777 (voice)

800-927-9275 (TTY)


Understudies with inabilities in government-funded schools (K-12) are covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Title II of the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students with disabilities in public post-secondary education are covered by Title II and Section 504. Title III of the ADA applies to non-public schools (K-12 and post-auxiliary) that are not worked by strict elements. Private schools that receive federal funds are also covered by Section 504.

IDEA Complaints – Parents may request a due process hearing and review from the state educational agency if applicable in that state. They may also appeal the state agency’s decision in state or federal court. You can contact the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) for more information or offer your thoughts and ideas about how people with disabilities, their families, and their communities can be better served.

For more contact information:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20202-7100

202-245-7468 (voice)

Complaints related to Title II of the ADA and Section 504 – The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education enforces Title II of the ADA and Section 504 as they apply to education. Individuals who have been denied access because of a service animal may file a complaint with OCR or file a private lawsuit in federal court.

An objection with OCR should be recorded inside 180 schedule days from the date the supposed segregation happened, except if the ideal opportunity for documenting is reached out for worthwhile motivation. Before filing an OCR complaint against a facility, an individual may want to find out what the facility’s complaint process is and use that process to get the complaint resolved. 

However, by the by, An individual isn’t legally necessary to utilize the institutional objection process before recording a grievance with OCR. On the off chance that somebody utilizes an institutional protest interaction and, decides to record the grumbling with OCR, the grievance should be documented with OCR within 60 days after the last action of the institutional complaint process.

For more information contact:

 US Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service: 800-421-3481 (voice)

 800-877-8339 (TTY)

 E-mail: sends e-mail) 

Complaints related to Title III – These can be filed with the Department of Justice.

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Civil Rights Division

Disability Rights Section – NYA

Washington, DC 20530 is external)

 800-514-0301 (v)

 800-514-0383 (TTY)


Title II of the ADA applies to public transportation, while Title III of the ADA applies to transportation given by private elements. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to federal entities and recipients of federal funds that provide transportation.

Complaints related to Title II and Section 504 – These can be filed with the Office of Civil Rights of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). For more information, contact:

Director, FTA Office of Civil Rights

East Building – 5th Floor, TCR

1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.

Washington, DC 20590

 FTA ADA Helpline: 888-446-4511 (Voice)

 800-877-8339 (Federal Information Relay Service) is external) is external)(Complaint Form)

Complaints related to Title III – These can be filed with the

Departamento de Justicia.

 U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Civil Rights Division

Disability Rights Section – NYA

Washington, DC 20530 is external)

 800-514-0301 (v)

 800-514-0383 (TTY)

Note: A person does not have to file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency before filing a lawsuit in federal court.

Air transport

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) covers airlines. Its guidelines explain which creatures are viewed as administration creatures and clarify how each kind of creature should be dealt with.

ACAA-related complaints may be filed with the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.

 Air passengers experiencing disability-related air transportation service problems can call the hotline at 800-778-4838 (voice) or 800-455-9880 (TTY) for assistance. Air passengers who want the Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate a complaint about a disability issue should submit their complaint in writing or by email to:

 Aviation Consumer Protection Division

 Attn: C-75- D

 US Department of Transportation

 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE

 Washington, DC 20590