Helping furry ones survive wildfires | PostIndependent.com
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Helping furry ones survive wildfires

Liz Welsh

Dear Editor,Wildfires raging through Colorado are chasing thousands from their homes and leaving many concerned animal guardians wondering how to protect their animals. If at all possible, it is best to make arrangements ahead of time to ensure the animals’ safety in the event of an emergency.Evacuees should never assume that they will be able to return home soon, despite any assurances to the contrary. Take a moment now to make preparations to safeguard your animals when disaster strikes:-If at all possible, DO NOT LEAVE ANIMALS BEHIND. There is no way of knowing what may happen to your home while you are away, and you may not be able to return for days or even weeks. Companion animals left behind may become malnourished and dehydrated, or may escape in fear and become lost. -Have an emergency kit with a harness, leash or carrier, bottled water, food and water bowls, dry food, and, if you care for a cat, litter and a litter tray. -All animals should have collars with ID. -Hotels often lift “no pets”policies during emergencies, but keep a list of hotels that accept companion animals just in case. (Most Motel Sixes accept animals.) -You may need to board your companion animal. Most boarding facilities require medical records, so keep these with your emergency kit.If you must leave your animal behind:-Never leave animals on chains or in hutches. Do not tie animals outside or keep them in a vehicle unattended. Leave them in a secure area inside your home. Place a sticker or sign in your front window alerting fire fighters to the animals inside. -Leave out at least 10 days’ supply of water. Fill every sink, bowl, pan, and Tupperware container with water, then set them on the floor; do not leave just one container – it may spill. If your toilet bowl is free of chemical disinfectants, leave the toilet seat up to provide animals with one more source of water, but do not let that be the only source.-Leave at least 10 days’ supply of dry food. Canned food will go rancid quickly. -If you can’t get to your home, contact a reliable neighbor or friend to check on the animals and get them out, if possible. Provide specific instructions on care. PETA encourages communities and individuals to implement the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) preparation plans for animals, listed on their website at http://www.fema.gov/fema/aprep.htm.For more information, please visit PETA’s disaster preparedness website at http://www.HelpingAnimals.com.Sincerely, Liz Welsh,staff writer,People for the EthicalTreatment of Animals


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