Pets in disasters

During an emergency or disaster, you’ll need to look after the safety and welfare of your pets. A disaster can occur with or without warning. It is very important to be prepared and the best preparation is a household emergency plan. This plan should always include your pets. 

Before a disaster 

There are several things you can do to ensure you and your animals are prepared:

  • Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar, identification and registration tag. 
  • Double check that your pet’s registration details are up to date. 
  • Make sure you pet is microchipped and your details are up to date. 
  • Keep a list of important phone numbers handy, including your vet and the Animal Management Centre. 
  • Add pet food, water, medication and other animal needs to your emergency kit. 
  • Include your pets in your household emergency and evacuation plans. If you must evacuate, taking your pets with you or relocating them is the best way to protect them. 
  • Have arrangements in place for transporting your animals in emergencies. 
  • Make sure your pet is used to being in a carry cage or crate, so don’t forget to add it to your emergency plan. 
  • Include leads and harnesses for exercising your pet. 

Protecting pets during a disaster  

Know where you are going to take your animals well in advance, in case of an emergency. Be aware that some evacuation centres may not take animals so plan alternatives accordingly. If you are moving the animals, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk. 

If you are staying at home, make sure you: 

  • Keep your pets somewhere warm with a familiar item like a toy or security blanket. 
  • Place pets in separate rooms with small or preferably no windows like the laundry bathroom.  
  • If you leave your pets outside, don't tie them up because they won’t be able to get to safety if needed. 
  • Leave out enough food and water in large, heavy bowls so they don’t move.  
  • Don’t leave pets unattended in vehicles. 

Evacuation Centres and your pets 

In most cases, trained assistance dogs will be allowed to stay in evacuation centres with their owners. You will need to show proper identification and proof of vaccination. Crating facilities will be provided. 

Only domestic pets, (cats, dogs, pocket pets) are accepted at emergency evacuation centres. You may need to make special arrangements for other pets such as aquarium fish, reptiles and livestock. 

We maintain a Livestock Register for easy identification of your animals. Make sure your details are up to date on the register. 

Caring for your pet after a disaster  

Don’t be surprised if your pet is more anxious or fearful after a disaster. Your pet won’t understand what has happened and will look to you for stability and comfort.  

Don’t let your pets loose in the house or yard until you have had a chance to examine the area. Ensure pets will be contained and cannot escape by carefully walking the yard to verify the fence is intact and there is nothing new and dangerous in the yard, especially after flooding.  

If you lose your pet during an emergency 

Contact our Animal Management Centre;: