Pets in disasters

During an emergency or disaster, you’ll need to look after the safety and welfare of your pets.

There are several things you can do to make sure you and your pets are prepared:

  • include your pets in your household emergency plans
  • keep vaccinations and worming up to date
  • make sure your emergency kit includes appropriate pet supplies – you may need:
    • medication
    • your pet’s most recent immunisation records
    • food (including treats)
    • bottled water
    • a familiar pet blanket
    • bedding or toys
    • cleaning supplies
  • make sure your pet is used to being in a carry cage or crate. You can use your own carry cage or crate, so don’t forget to add it to your emergency plan. Make sure you include leads and harnesses for exercising your pet
  • properly identify your pets, for example:
    • lifetime registration tags
    • name tags with current contact details
    • up-to-date details with your microchip provider
  • keep a list of important phone numbers handy, including your vet and Animal Management Centre.

We understand that your pet is part of your family. Act early during a disaster. You may need to ask friends to help you keep your pets safe. Make sure you:

  • know where you are going to take your animals well in advance of an emergency
  • if you move animals to a safer place, do it early to avoid unnecessary risk
  • if you are staying at home, keep your pets indoors so they don’t run away
  • leave out enough food and water in large, heavy bowls
  • place pets in separate rooms with small (or preferably no) windows – like the laundry or bathroom
  • if you leave your pets outside, do not tie them up (because they won’t be able to get to safety if needed)
  • do not leave pets in vehicles
  • If you lose your pet during an emergency:

Trained assistance dogs

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 to enable easy identification of your animals. Make sure your details are up-to-date on the register.

For more information: