Taking care of pets
By TIMES WIRES
Published August 28, 2006
If you haven't already decided where you will evacuate with your pet, make that decision now. Most public shelters do not accept pets.
Mindful that some people refused to evacuate New Orleans last year rather than abandon a beloved pet, emergency-operations directors have worked to create more pet-friendly shelters in the Tampa Bay area.
Here's what is available now:
In Pinellas: Judicial Building, 545 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg; Harbor Hall Community Center, 1190 Georgia Ave., Palm Harbor. Preregistration required; call (727) 582-2150 or visit www.pinellascounty.org.
In Hillsborough: Burnett Middle School, 1010 Kingsway Road N, Seffner; Sickles High School, 7950 Gunn Highway. No registration required.
In Hernando: Animal Services facility next to the county fairgrounds, pets only, no reservations necessary.
In Citrus: residents who go to public shelters can turn their pets over to animal control workers, who will take the pets to the animal shelter in Inverness. No registration necessary.
Some hotels relax their no-pet rules during hurricanes. Visit www.petswelcome.com or www.floridapets.net for lists of pet-friendly lodgings.
Never leave pets at home alone. They can become terrified in a storm. You may think you are evacuating for a day or two, but it could be longer.
What pets need
Proper ID collar and rabies tag/license.
Vaccination paperwork. Shelters and boarding facilities will require proof of vaccinations.
Carrier or cage large enough for your pet to move around.
Ample food supply - at least two weeks. Don't forget your pet's usual treats and snacks.
Water and food bowls.
Medications and specific care instructions in a waterproof container. This includes regular medications such as heartworm pills as well as prescription drugs.
First-aid kit with remedies for cuts, bites and infections.
Newspapers, cat litter, scoop, plastic trash bags for handling waste.
Proper ID on all belongings.
A comfort item such as a favorite toy or blanket.
Non-electric can opener.
Photo of you and your pet.