What to do with your pet in case of fire | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What to do with your pet in case of fire

Niki Congero
Hopeful Henry
Lilly is a 3-year-old Pointer mix. She loves cats and does well with other gentle dogs. She is house trained, but should be in a plastic crate when left home alone. Come visit Lilly at the El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. For spay-neuter services and other support, call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 530-542-2857. Last week’s pet of the week, Mandy, is still looking for her forever home; but Gilligan, the kitty from two weeks ago, is now in a happy home!
Courtesy Photo |

I know we have already covered the topic of pets and being prepared for fire, but as we are now in fire season it remains important. You can never be prepared enough! Please don’t wait and get ready before an emergency strikes.

This is what you need to do to prepare your furry family members for a fire disaster.

Put the following documents in a waterproof bag (pet emergency kits in waterproof bag are always available free of charge at the Lake Tahoe Humane Society office located at 884 Emerald Bay Road):

Name, address, phone numbers of pet owner

Veterinarian name and phone number

Health and rabies certificates (boarding facilities and emergency shelters require proof of current rabies, distemper, parvo and bordatella vaccinations)

Color photo of pets and description (in case you’re separated) plus a pet photo with a family member to prove your claim of a rescued pet

Medications with instructions

Place the following items in a crate or carrier and store next to an exit or in garage:

Crate or carrier sized for pet to stand up and turn around

Collar and harness with current personal ID tag

Short and long leashes

Food and water bowls

Bottle water for pets (dogs-one gallon per day for a 40lb+ dog, cats-one quart per day)

Food and can opener

Favorite toys and chews

Blanket and or bed

Litter and litter pan (a small aluminum baking pan fits in most cages) or pack a supply of puppy training pads, they can be used as a replacement to litter box just make sure you pack enough to change at least three times a day

Pooper scooper and plastic bags for disposal of poop

All surface cleaner-deodorizer and paper towel’s (container of Lysol wipes are great to also have on hand)

Grooming comb, brush and towels

First Aid Kit: gauze pads and roll, tape, bandages, 3% hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, muzzle, tweezers, small blunt end scissors, cold pack, thermometer (cats and dogs’ normal temp range is 100-102.5 F.), and a box of corn starch (can be used to temporarily clot bleeding until you can get to a veterinarian)

Always remember to plan ahead for emergencies and have a plan to stay with family or friends. Never leave your pet behind! Worst case scenario, if you have to leave your pet behind, leave one weeks’ worth of food (dry) and fill your bathtub with water as well as leaving bowls of water out and about. Leave a note (attached well with lots of tape) on the front door that animals are in the home or garage and immediately notify local county animal services for rescue from your home.

It is also important for you to know the Lake Tahoe Humane Society is here for our community’s pets in the event of a disaster with our DART team (Disaster Animal Response Team). Should a fire endanger our community we will work in conjunction with the Red Cross to shelter your pets while the Red Cross will shelter the humans. After the horrific loss of pets’ lives in Hurricane Katrina, FEMA passed the “Pets Act,” a law requiring communities to have a plan to shelter pets in the same location as their humans. If a community does not have such a plan in place they could be denied any FEMA disaster relief funding. This is something that the Lake Tahoe Humane Society stepped up to do by getting special FEMA training for the team and investing close to $100,000 in trailers, supplies, mobile fencing and kennels. We did this with no financial assistance from any local, state or federal governments and rely 100 percent on private donations to keep this and all our programs going. If you are interested in volunteering for the DART team or making a donation to help us keep this program going please contact our office 530-542-2857