So Cal Braces for Biggest Storm of the Season

spcaLA Urges Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Los Angeles, CA – Forecasters predict that the largest storm of the season is expected to hit Southern California beginning today. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) urges residents to prepare for disaster, and for pet owners to include their animals in their plans.

In addition to the possibility of 2 to 10 inches of rain, mudslides in the burned mountain areas from December’s fires are an urgent cause for concern. Many residents of Santa Barbara County are under mandatory evacuation orders starting today at 12noon.

Temporary housing for owned dogs and cats is available at the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Rd. Small animals, such as birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, fowl, exotics and reptiles can be housed next door at Santa Barbara Animal Control. Large animals, like horses can be taken to Earl Warren Showgrounds at 3400 Calle Real. More information can be obtained from the hotline by calling (805) 681-4332.

spcaLA’s Disaster Animal Response Team (DART)™ is ready to deploy for this storm, and routinely answers the call for aid from municipal, state, and federal agencies providing rescue, front-line veterinary care, food and temporary shelter for animals during disasters. spcaLA rescues pets, horses, livestock, and exotics from the paths of fires, mudslides, earthquakes, and other disasters. DART most recently responded to a call for aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Please follow these tips to ensure the safety of your pets before, during and after a disaster.

Prepare for your pets’ safety

    • Microchip your dogs and cats, and ensure they are wearing current ID tags at all times.
    • Familiarize yourself with pet CPR, resuscitation, and general first aid. If roads are blocked, emergency services may not be available.
    • Keep your pets current on vaccines. During a disaster, your pet may get lost or may be housed in a shelter with other animals, thereby potentially being exposed to infectious diseases.
    • Entrust a neighbor or friend to get your pets to safety, in case you are at work when a disaster strikes, and make a back-up plan to board your animal during a disaster (veterinarian, boarding facility, etc.).
    • Display an Animals Inside sign in doors and windows, so responders know there are animals on the premises.

Make a kit

    In addition to the food, water and supplies you need for the people in your family make sure to include the following items for you pets in your disaster kit.
    • Current photos of your pets, copies of vaccination records & veterinarian’s contact info
    • Collars, leashes & carriers for your pets
    • A minimum of three weeks’ supply of pet food & bottled water (plus bowls & can openers)
    • Treats, toys, blankets & towels
    • Pet First Aid Kit (should include: pet first aid book, antiseptic, topical ointment, dressing and any prescribed pet medications)
    • Soft muzzle (some government evacuation vehicles/facilities may require for all dogs)
    • Waste removal system: disposable baggies for dogs and/or cat litter, scooper & temporary litter box (like a disposable aluminum foil pan) for cats

During the disaster

    • Try to stay calm. If you display anxiety and stress, your pet will detect it. This could trigger aggressive behaviors or a flight response.
    • Continuously check pet structures and favorite hiding places for hazardous debris.
    • Alert local shelters immediately if your pet becomes lost.

spcaLA relies on donations not government funding or assistance from other agencies to provide services for animals during disasters. For more information and to donate, click HERE