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Protect your pets during a hurricane

• Be sure your pet is current on all vaccinations and is wearing a rabies and identification tag. We strongly recommend microchipping your pet. For safety, be sure to use a breakaway collar for cats.

• Have a recent photo of your pet available. Prepare a size appropriate crate and help your pet adjust to it before you need to use it. Many pets enjoy sleeping in a crate in your home. Find out in advance which shelters or hotels allow pets. If you have to leave your pet at home, prepare a safe area for him such as a bathroom, utility room, or garage. Provide plenty of fresh water and food. If you own a large pet and you have to leave him in the bathroom, disinfect the toilet bowl, flush several times, and leave the lid open so they have access to water. Do not leave your pet locked in a crate in your home if you leave during a hurricane.

• Birds must eat daily and therefore should be boarded if at all possible. If boarding is not available, place several food dispensers in the cage and cover the cage to keep your bird quiet.

• For each pet, have a two-week supply of medication, food, treats, and water. To handle your pet’s waste, take plenty of newspaper, plastic bags, cleaner, and disinfectants.

• Because your pet may escape during a hurricane, we recommend you spay or neuter your pet so they do not become pregnant or impregnate another animal.

• Keep your pet indoors after a hurricane and only walk them with a leash. Pets are more easily lost and confused after a storm because of an altered sense of smell and landmarks.