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Pet Planning

Plan for Your Pet

The Dutchess County Office of Emergency Management encourages you to develop an emergency plan for your pets before a disaster or emergency occurs by taking these actions:

  • Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations.  Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines. 
  • Have a current photograph.
  • Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.
  • Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal - carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
  • Plan your evacuation strategy and don't forget your pet!  Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm's way are all potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.
  • If you plan to shelter your pet - work it into your evacuation route planning.
  • Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm - reassure them and remain calm.
  • Pet shelters will be filled on first-come, first-served basis.  Call ahead and determine availability.  

After the Storm or Emergency Has Passed

  • Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home - often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.  Remember downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can  pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered.  Bring along a picture of your pet, if possible.
  • A severe storm is traumatic for animals.  After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive - monitor their behavior.