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Pet Evacuation, Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters, Disaster Preparedness for Pets
National Hurricane Center
Check National Hurricane Center updates.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): Information for Pet Owners
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
The Humane Society of America: Disaster Preparedness for Pets
The key to survival during a disaster, crisis or emergency is to be as prepared as possible before the storm hits. Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for you and your pet and you will greatly increase your pet's chances of survival.
American Red Cross: Pets and Disaster
Local and state health and safety regulations do not permit the Red Cross to allow pets in disaster shelters. (Service animals are allowed in Red Cross shelters.). It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL DISASTER STRIKES TO DO YOUR RESEARCH.
* The best option is to get a friend or relative outside the evacuation area to take your pets, and preferably you, too. If that's not possible, try locating a pet friendly motel or one that waives animal prohibitions during evacuations.
* Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
* You may not be home when the evacuation order comes; find out if a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location.
WHAT IS PET FRIENDLY EVACUATION SHELTERING?
Pet-friendly evacuation sheltering can be planned and executed in a multitude of ways. In some communities, the human evacuation shelter is within the same room, facility, or campus as accommodations for pets. This allows the animals' owners to have a large role in caring for the pet. In other communities, the human shelter and pet shelter may be in separate locations. In this case, evacuees are told where to bring their pets, while they will be staying at a shelter for people.
If you will need to go to a pet friendly shelter during an evacuation, make sure you have the following items ready to go for your pet: a leash and collar, a crate, a two-week supply of food and water, your pets' vaccination records, medications, and written instructions for feeding and administering medication. If your favorite four-legged friend is feline, be sure you bring kitty-litter and an appropriate container, too.
The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) of 2006 requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include in their evacuation plans how they will accommodate household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster. Local and state authorities must submit these plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Currently, not all communities offer pet friendly emergency/evacuation shelters.
TO FIND OUT IF THERE IS A PET FRIENDLY SHELTER IN YOUR AREA, CALL YOUR COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE OR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER.
Alabama Emergency Animal Shelters
Houston County Farm Center
1701 East Cottonwood Road
Dothan, AL (Houston County)
(Can house 400 domestic animals, 150 large animals)
1555 Federal Drive
Montgomery, AL (Montgomery County)
(Can house 2,500-5,000 domestic animals, 700-900 large animals)
The state shelters will accept "any" animals, including snakes and unvaccinated animals. The state will provide the medical equipment and testing necessary to give rabies shots and will provide medication for any animals with a communicable disease.
Mobile County Emergency Management Agency - Evacuating Pets
Keep in mind that most local shelters will not allow pets so you must make other arrangements so you and your pet will not be stranded in the face of an emergency. While Mobile County operates a pet shelter during a large scale evacuation, space is extremely limited. Do your best to make other arrangements for your pets.
Monterey County: The SPCA for Monterey County Disaster Preparedness
The SPCA for Monterey County was the very first animal welfare agency in the United States to partner with the American Red Cross and shelter pets adjacent to human evacuation shelters during disasters. We continue that commitment today with concrete partnerships with our local Red Cross and a seat at the Office of Emergency Services. Thank you, Beth!
Lewes, City of: Taking Care of Pets in Disasters
Advice to pet owners and pet caregivers for protecting your pets in a disaster.
Brevard County has two pet friendly shelters that will be opened for those living in an evacuation zone. Prior registration is not required; but you should call Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement to determine if open. The shelters are located at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road and at the Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way. These shelters allow evacuating residents and their pets to shelter together at an approved shelter. The shelters are operated by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation as well as Animal Services and Enforcements, and several volunteers and volunteer agencies.
Broward County Emergency Management
Currently only one emergency shelter is in existence in Broward County and has limited capacity. Space is limited and is on a first come, first serve basis to those living in a designated emergency evacuation zone, which includes all mobile home parks. The location of the shelter is: Millennium Middle School, 5803 N.W. 94 tth Avenue, Tamarac, Florida 33321.
Pet Friendly Shelter located at Parrott Middle School, 19220 Youth Drive, Brooksville. Residents with pets are encouraged to make prior arrangements or call 352-796-5062 Hernando County Animal Services for assistance.
The Holmes County Agriculture Center, located at US Hwy 90 E. in Bonifay, will provide shelter to pets and people during evacuations.
Indian River County
Indian River County has designated Liberty Magnet School at 6850 81st Street to be the county’s first pet-friendly evacuation shelter. Now citizens have a safe refuge that will welcome both them and their pets. HSVB&IRC has accepted the responsibility of helping administer this shelter, which includes collecting the advance registration applications required from those who plan to use this facility.
Lake County has eight primary shelters, and additional shelters are available if necessary. In most circumstances, the primary shelters will be the first to open. In addition to being general population risk shelters, all primary shelters are pet friendly and many serve those residents who have registered with the County's special-needs program. All pets accepted by authorities at shelters must be crated and have documentation of up-to-date rabies vaccinations.
Astatula Elementary, 13925 Florida Ave., Astatula — pet friendly
Leesburg Elementary, 2229 South St., Leesburg — special needs and pet friendly
Lost Lake Elementary, 1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont — special needs and pet friendly
Pine Ridge Elementary, 10245 County Road 561, Clermont — pet friendly
Round Lake Elementary, 31333 Round Lake Road, Mount Dora — pet friendly
Treadway Elementary, 10619 Treadway School Road, Leesburg — pet friendly
Umatilla Elementary, 401 Lake St., Umatilla — special needs and pet friendly
Villages Elementary, 695 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake — special needs and pet friendly
To register for the special-needs program or the public-shelter registry, call the Lake County Emergency Management Division at 352-343-9420.
A pet friendly shelter will be located at South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road in Fort Myers. Only dogs and cats will be accepted. The shelter is to be used only by people affected by mandatory evacuation orders that are unable to seek alternative shelter. Pet owners are required to stay at the shelter but will be housed in separate areas. More information is available online at Lee County Animal Services or call 239-432-2083.
Levy County Animal Services in cooperation with the Humane Society of Levy County, located at 12055 NE 69 Lane, Bronson FL will house the pets (dogs and cats only) of people who have to evacuate. Pet owners are required to supply their own pet crates and supplies. For further information call 352-486-5138.
Manatee County emergency officials will designate at least one pet-friendly shelter as shelters are opened. That location may vary depending on the emergency. Contact: 941-748-4501
Forest High School, located at 5000 S.E. Maricamp Road in Ocala, will be the county's pet-friendly shelter this year. They will accept dogs, cats and birds in their own cages.
On Aug. 7 The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in Palm City is scheduled to become the first hurricane pet shelter in Martin County. The shelter will allow people who live in evacuation zones to pre-register their pets at The Humane Society to ensure that if a hurricane comes, their animals will have a place to go. Animals that are registered can be dropped off at the Humane Society when the evacuation notice is posted. For further info call The Humane Society at 772-223-8822.
Two pet friendly shelters will be available in Miami-Dade County:
Miami-Dade County Sunshine Pavilion, located at 10901 S.W. 24th Street, on the grounds of the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition.
Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High, 1410 NE 215 Street, North Miami.
Pet owners residing in hurricane evacuation zones, unsafe structures or trailers can participate. Pre-registration for the two shelters is required and space is limited. Residents must provide proof of residency within an evacuation zone and present medical and current vaccination records for each pet. Pet owners must bring supplies for themselves and their pet(s). Limit of four (4) pets per household. Family member must remain in the PHEC with the pet(s). Download the Pet Friendly Hurricane Evacuation Center Application, complete it and mail to: Pet Friendly Shelter Application, c/o Animal Services, 7401 NW 74th St., Medley, FL 33166.
There are no safe shelters in the county during Category 3, 4, or 5 storms and county officials advise people to evacuate to mainland Dade County. The county does not provide any pet-friendly shelters for non-special needs residents. During Category 1 or 2 storms, people with special needs who have previously registered their pets may request transportation to shelters allowing pets. Only special needs residents who pre-register their pets are able to bring their pets with them to a shelter, and only if a pet-friendly sheltering is available at the time, they provide the required supplies (including a cage, food, etc.), and make arrangements in advance of their pickup. Residents can pre-register online
A pet friendly shelter is located at the Yulee Elementary School, 86063 Felmore Road, Yulee, FL 32097. All owners must pre-register their pets with Nassau County Animal Control. Please call (904) 225-0006, (904) 225-2298 or 800-894-7006 for registration and information or see the Pet Shelters link for further information.
Orange County does operate pet friendly shelters. All shelters will not be open at once. In Orange County, please call 311 to find out which one is open and accepting pets and their families.
General population shelters will not allow pets; however there will be some pet friendly shelters open during the storm for both you and your pet.
Palm Beach County
The county-owned gymnasium at West Boynton Recreation Center (east of high school), 6000 Northtree Blvd. in Lake Worth (between Hypoluxo Road and Gateway Boulevard off the east side of Jog Road) will be available as a pet friendly shelter. Dogs, cats and birds are accepted. No reptiles or livestock. The shelter is restricted to Palm Beach County residents residing in a mandatory evacuation zones or in mobile homes. Proof of residency is required. Space is limited and restrictions apply. Pet owners are required to stay at the shelter. Pets will be housed in separate area from people; pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animals' needs. For more information and to pre-register call the Palm Beach Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1266 or Pre-register for the Hurricane Pet Friendly Shelter
The Pasco School District will designate one of its schools as an animal shelter. Pet owners, however, will stay at a separate, nearby shelter The shelter is for dogs and cats only.
Three public shelters in Pinellas County will accept pets, with priority given to people who are evacuating manufactured homes and flood zones. Pre-registration is required: online, at Pinellas County Animal Services; or call 727-582-2150.
These shelters will accommodate more than 700 pets total:
Oak Grove Middle School, 1370 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater
Thurgood Marshall Middle School, 3901 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg
Dunedin Highland Middle School, 70 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
Three shelters in Polk County will accept pets:
Lime Street Elementary School, 1225 East Lime Street, Lakeland
Lake Region High School, 1995 Thunder Road, Eagle Lake
Alta Vista Elementary School, 801 Scenic Highway, Haines City
Due to space limitations, the sites will be strictly for pet-friendly groups and will be limited to providing shelter only for dogs, cats and birds, and their owners. Pet owners must bring shot records for each pet; an airline-approved carrying case; food for the pet for at least a three day period; and an agreement, signed by the pet owner upon registration, that confirms that the pet will be accompanied throughout the duration of the sheltering by an owner. Pre-registration is required; contact the Emergency Management Division at: Polk County Emergency Management, Attention: Pet-Friendly Shelter, 1295 Brice Blvd., Bartow, Florida, 33830, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 863-534-5600.
A pet friendly hurricane shelter will be located at Ochwilla Elementary School 229 North State Road 21, Hawthorne, FL. Call 386-329-0379 for more details.
Sarasota County has designated four pet friendly shelters (not all shelters will be open during each emergency):
North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Blvd., North Port
Pine View School, 501 Old Venice Road, Osprey
Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 W. Price Blvd., North Port
Brookside Middle School, 3636 S. Shade Ave., Sarasota
These shelters accept dogs and cats only. Pet owners must provide proof of updated license and vaccination and contain their pet in an "airline-approved" pet carrier. Further Information and Pet Rules for the Sarasota County Emergency Shelters
Located at 865 South C.R. 427, Longwood, FL 32750. Ph. 407-320-2050.
Sanlando United Methodist Church
Located at 1939 Boothe Circle, Longwood, FL 32750.
Located at 2190 Oregon Ave., Sanford, FL 32771. Ph. 407-871-9950.
St. Johns County
Two shelters in St. Johns County will be designated as pet friendly -- location to be determined. Pet owners must stay with their pet (no animal drop-offs) and will be housed in the same facility as their pets. No pre-registration is required. Dogs, cats, and pocket pets accepted. No reptiles. Contact: 904-824-5550.
St. Lucie County
Just three weeks before hurricane season, the county's hopes for its first pet friendly hurricane shelter died after school officials said they couldn't take the health risk of having animals in schools.
In the event of a disaster, owners and their animals will be provided shelter at the Volusia County Fairgrounds on S.R. 44 in Deland, one-quarter mile east of I-4, or other Volusia County designated pet friendly shelters. Pet friendly means the owners and their animals can stay at the same shelter, but will be housed separately. All companion animals must have a current license, vaccinations, identification and rabies tags.They must be confined in pet carriers or crates and must be under control at the facility at all times. During an emergency, not all shelters will open at once. To find out which shelters are available, tune to the local news media or call the toll-free Citizen's Information Hotline at: (866) 345-0345 (Only during a disaster).
One of the important steps you can take to prepare for a disaster is to pre-register your companion animal(s) with the Volusia Animal Preparedness Data Bank. Registration will help return your pet after a disaster and will enable you to find shelter with your companion animal at the VAP shelter at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. Further Information
Georgia's emergency shelters are opened on an as-needed basis.
Pet friendly shelter located at Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds, 301 Hale Street, Augusta, GA 30901
Hawaii State Civil Defense
State disaster plans are identifying shelters for people and their animal companions, provided the pet is in a carrier or crate.
The Kauai Humane Society provides a pet friendly emergency evacuation shelter.
Pet-friendly shelters may be opened during an evacuation. This information will be available at shelter information points.
The LA/SPCA is the designated support agency overseeing pet evacuation and rescue functions for the city of New Orleans and the Office of Homeland Security. The LA/SPCA joined with city, parish, state and federal agencies to develop operational procedures to care for companion animals before, during, and after a hurricane or other disaster. Households must pre-register with the City of New Orleans if they will need assistance. However, evacuees with pets utilizing city assistance are not guaranteed space on transport or at shelters.
Pet owners may call for information or to request assistance by calling 311, or 1-877-286-6431. There is no limit to the number of pets. The service is free to Orleans Parish residents, but they must meet certain criteria. It is only available to people who do not own a mode of transportation or the mode of transportation is too small to accommodate the entire family. Further Information.
Maryland State Animal Response Team (SART)
Through a private-public partnership, MDSART serves as a unifying network of organizations, businesses, federal/state government agencies, and individuals who support the need to provide prevention, preparedness, emergency response, and animal recovery. Since disaster response must occur from a local level, MDSART builds County Animal Response Teams (CARTs) across the state.
Special needs clients who pre-register their pet(s) are able to bring their pet(s) with them to shelter providing that Pet-Friendly sheltering is available at the time.
Worcester County Emergency Services
Pet-friendly shelters include Stephen Decatur Middle School, Pocomoke High School and Worcester County Animal Control. For additional emergency information, call 410-632-2751.
Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties
For small pets, those that fit in a carrier, the Red Cross has collaborated with animal organizations which will manage pet shelters, located near the Red Cross shelter. Each pet needs to be in its own carrier and owners must be sure to bring food and water for the animal, enough for at least three days. A group of local animal shelters (SMART) will be ready to take in pets per their implementation procedures. Please ensure that you check in advance for specific requirements for your pets.
Pet friendly shelter at Cape Cod Regional Technical School, 351 Pleasant Lake Ave., Harwich, MA.
Mississippi Board of Animal Health
Mississippi Board of Animal Health (MBAH) will direct and control all activities related to animal protection and control during an emergency. Pet-friendly shelter locations will be those designated by Mississippi Board of Animal Health/Emergency Management Team as meeting the safety standards for humans and/or animals.
The Humane Society of South Mississippi and the Emergency Management Agency have teamed up to provide a pet friendly evacuation shelter of last resort. Harrison Central High School, 15600 School Rd, Gulfport, MS will be a safe place of refuge for those pet owners with nowhere else to go. You must pre-register if you think you will need space at the shelter in the event of a mandatory evacuation. To find out more and to register for shelter, please download and send in the Pet Shelter Agreement and Registration Form.
The county and state have teamed up to provide a free bus service that will take residents to a safe hurricane shelter if an evacuation is ordered. Small- to medium-size domesticated pets will be allowed to ride on the free bus service. Pets must be in an approved travel container before boarding the bus. All pets will be taken to a certified animal shelter staffed by state personnel. To sign up for this service, residents should call the state's toll-free registration line at 866)-477-7099.
Cape May County
Pets will not be allowed in public shelters in Cape May County.
Some Municipalities in Ocean County have established pet shelters and/or pet friendly shelters in their jurisdiction. Check with your Municipal Office of Emergency Management to see if these facilities will be available for you in your jurisdiction. You can call the Ocean County Sheriff's Department, Office of Emergency Management at 732-341-3451 or toll free 800-331-8152 to request a brochure with the information you will need to assist you.
Pets are not allowed in shelters. It is crucial that you make sheltering plans for your own pet(s). Contact the Pet Safe Coalition Inc. to learn more about sheltering in an evacuation emergency. Pet Safe Coalition can be reached at 516-676-0808 or www.petsafecoalition.org. Only working “service” animals are allowed in Nassau County shelters but you must have your own water, food, medicines, toys and other necessities for your “service” animal.
Southampton, Long Island
Residents with questions or who need information about pet-friendly shelters or pet accommodations can call the Supervisor’s Office at (631)-283-6055.
Evacuation centers and emergency shelters throughout the city are pet-friendly, and people are encouraged to evacuate with their pets.
Suffolk County, Long Island
Locally, pets are not allowed at emergency Red Cross public shelters. There is limited availability at the Suffolk Fire Academy in Yaphank, the Long Island Ducks Stadium and other county facilities.
North Carolina State Animal Response Team
The State Animal Response Team, an organization formed by representatives of state agencies and animal groups, will help with equipment and staff that can be dispatched to a particular site during an emergency.
Brunswick County Emergency Services
County animal control facilities provide free, first come-first serve pet boarding for residents during a state of emergency. PH. 754-8204. West Brunswick High School will accept dogs and cats in a limited number (no exotic animals). People must stay at their shelter with their pets, though pets will be in a separate area.
Carteret County's primary shelter, located at Newport Middle School west of Morehead City, will also have a pet wing that will allow those evacuees who have domesticated animals to pre-register and provide information in order for the shelter to accept pets during an evacuation. Companion Hurricane Shelter Pre-Registration Form
A pet shelter will be located at Albemarle Learning Center, 131 Morristown Road, Edenton NC. Owners must have proof of rabies shots and a crate for their pets. Owners must bring food, water, bedding and any medications for their pets. Owners must stay the duration of the storm with their pets (exception for emergency workers).
Three American Red Cross shelters in Forsyth County have been designated as "Pet Friendly" shelters where pets and their owners may reside in the same building–but not the same room. These may not be open for each disaster; therefore, you should make arrangements for your pet(s) before disaster strikes.
If there is an emergency in Mecklenburg County, the Animal Rescue Team will set up a shelter for evacuated pets, equipped with food, water and medicine. A pet shelter will be set up as close as possible to the shelter where the people will be and the pet owner wil continue to assume responsbility for the care of their pet.
New Hanover County
New Hanover County Animal Control Services will shelter your pet at no cost. Noble Middle School is a Co-location Shelter where you can seek shelter with your pet. You and your pet will be housed in separate locations of the school.
There will be an emergency pet shelter located with the American Red Cross shelter at Jacksonville Commons Middle School, 315 Commons Drive South, Jacksonville, NC 28546. Dogs, cats and caged birds which are accompanied by their owners staying in the shelter will be accepted. No other types of animals will be accepted. Only individuals who have checked in to stay at the emergency shelter themselves will be allowed to bring pets. Pets will be housed in an area separate from people, but owners are expected to provide care (feeding & exercising) for their own pets. C.A.R.T. volunteers will provide overnight for the emergency pet shelter and will provide care for the pets of the elderly and disabled.
Pet owners may bring their pets with them to the shelter. However, pets are not allowed to stay in human shelters. Arrangements are made for Animal Protection or Animal Control to receive the pet and carry it to a pet shelter.
Local emergency shelters for people will not accept pets, but when such shelters open the Pitt County Animal Response Team will open a shelter to board pets, either at the animal shelter or the neighboring Farmers Market on County Home Road. Call 902-1725 for more information.
Three Red Cross shelters in Forsyth County have been designated as pet friendly shelters where pets and their owners may reside in the same building–but not the same room. These may not be open for each disaster; therefore, you should make arrangements for your pet(s) before disaster strikes.
Pets are not allowed on the bus or in the shelters. For more pet information, please contact the Beaufort County Animal Shelter and Control at 843-846-3904.
The Matagorda County Chapter of the American Red Cross has made arrangements with the Animal Defense League in San Antonio, whereby help with boarding pets may be available, depending on needs around the state. For more information please call the local chapter of the American Red Cross at 979-245-3056.
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
The Animal Emergency Response Plan or S.B. 787, which was signed into law in April, requires that the Virginia Department of Emergency Management will incorporate all pets and service animals in any emergency response plans that are initiated.
In Feb. 2007 Arlington County officials unveiled a mobile emergency pet shelter, a 20-foot trailer that will be stocked with food, animal crates and other supplies to create "pet-friendly" wings at local community centers and schools used as shelters during floods or other emergencies.
In case of emergency two shelters can be designated as pet friendly.
Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team (H.E.A.R.T) and the American Red Cross are working to provide shelter for owners and their animals. In the event of a disaster, owners and their animals will be provided shelter. All companion animals must have current license, vaccinations, ID and rabies tags. They will need to be confined to pet carriers or crates and be under control at the facility at ALL times.