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Saturday, September 10, 2005


September 10, 2005

PETA Contact: Daphna Nachminovitch 757-622-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — With South Carolina now in the path of Hurricane Ophelia, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions. Please alert people in your area to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds, and other companion animals who need to be included in disaster-preparation plans—as Hurricane Katrina has graphically illustrated:
  • In the event that your area is evacuated, never leave animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.
  • Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters often do not accept animals, but motels in the area will probably accept dogs, cats, and other small animals in an emergency. Call destinations in advance and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals. Do not plan to leave animals unsupervised in a car because they can suffer from heatstroke if the temperature rises above 70°F, and cars are generally unsafe (unless people remain in their cars with them).
  • Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed with harnesses because frightening circumstances may make them bolt. Bring along water and food bowls, a towel, and enough food for a week.
  • Put secure, legible I.D. tags on your animals in case they become separated from you. Having your animals microchipped for identification is recommended.
  • If you truly have no choice and must leave animals behind, leave them inside the house, with access to upper floors. Leave out at least 10 days’ supply of dry food and water. Fill multiple sinks, bowls, pans, and plastic containers with water, and leave the toilet seat up. Do not turn animals loose outside to fend for themselves, and never tie them up or leave them outside in cages, where they will be unable to flee rising floodwaters.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The government failed the animals in zones affected by Hurricane Katrina. People in the stricken areas didn’t realize they would be gone for as long as they have, and, as a result, animals are still perishing—a full two weeks after the initial evacuation. Underestimating the storm could mean death for your companion animal. As Hurricane Katrina has shown, the lives of tens of thousands of animal family members can be put at risk by a lack of preparation.

PETA is also sending its disaster-preparedness public service announcement hosted by William Shatner to area radio and TV stations. For more information, please visit HelpingAnimals.com, where you can also find a list of animal shelters and accommodations that allow animals in your area.


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