If you are like millions of animal
owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of
your household. The likelihood that you and your animals
will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood,
tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency
planning done today. Some of the things you can do to
prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal
emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy
system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you
decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a
safer location, you will need to make plans in advance
for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is
typically what's best for your animals.
must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible.
However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is
important to understand that animals are not allowed
inside with the exception of service animals. Plan in
advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both
you and your pets.
St Mary’s County
Emergency Animal Shelter is located at the Fairgrounds
across from Leonardtown High School. The Emergency
Animal Shelter will be opened anytime Emergency Shelters
are opened for county residents. You can bring your pet
to the Fairgrounds or they can be picked up as you enter
the emergency shelters. Animal Wardens and Animal
Welfare Volunteers will pick up your pet from the
shelters and issue you and your pet a matching tag.
After the emergency situation is over you can claim your
pet using the tag issued when you and your pet entered
Make a back-up emergency plan in
case you can't care for your animals by yourself.
Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and
relatives to make sure that someone is available to care
for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be
prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to
make it on your own for at least three days, maybe
longer. Just as you do with your family's emergency
supply kit, think first about the basics for survival,
particularly food and water. Consider two kits. In one,
put everything you and your pets will need to stay where
you are. The other should be a lightweight, smaller
version you can take with you if you and your pets have
to get away. Plus, be sure to review your kits regularly
to ensure that their contents, especially foods and
medicines, are fresh.
Items you should have in your kit
Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof
Store at least three days of water specifically for your
pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your
and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your
pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most
appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs. Most
kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and
scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention;
latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include
a pet first aid reference book.
with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should wear a collar
with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include
a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet's emergency
supply kit. In addition, place copies of your pet's
registration information, adoption papers, vaccination
documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or
waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You
should also consider talking with your veterinarian about
permanent identification such as micro-chipping, and
enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
or other pet carrier. If you need to evacuate in an
emergency situation take your pets and animals with you
provided that it is practical to do so. In many cases, your
ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe,
comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your
pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to
stand, turn around and lie down.
Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate,
newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household
chlorine bleach to provide for your pet's sanitation needs.
You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts
water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also
use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household
liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or
color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.
picture of you and your pet together. If you become
separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of
you and your pet together will help you document ownership
and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex,
color and distinguishing characteristics.
Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your
kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
Animals are allowed in shelters. If you wish to bring a
service animal with you into a shelter please go to the
Leonardtown High School Emergency Shelter. Do not forget to
bring food for your animal as it will not be supplied.