In the midst of this year’s hurricane season, pet owners are being reminded to ensure they have an emergency evacuation plan for their four-legged friends.
Hazard Management communications officer Simon Boxall said pets left behind in a disaster could be injured, lost or killed.
“Currently, the Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society do not have space to shelter pets and these facilities are already stretched to their limits. Don’t wait until you are facing the imminent threat of disaster to make your arrangements.”
Mr. Boxall said pet owners should prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices, including 24-hour telephone numbers.
“Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tags with up-to-date identification, including a phone number. This is the perfect time to have your pet micro-chipped if you have not already done so,” he said.
Casey Keller of Canine Friends, a group that finds homes for dogs left at or picked up by the Department of Agriculture, said it is important pet owners account for their pets in hurricane and evacuation plans.
“Make arrangements ahead of time for boarding or housing if you plan to leave the island or go to a shelter in the event of a hurricane. Ask a relative or friend who lives on higher ground if your pet can stay with them if you must leave your home,” Ms. Keller said.
She said owners could also make arrangements ahead of time to get a pet a passport to allow pets to travel off island with their owners.
Owners are also advised to keep at least two weeks’ worth of pet food, and fresh water, on hand and not to leave pets outdoors in a storm.
Pet passports and microchip specifications are available through the Cayman Islands Agriculture Department. Phone 947-3090.