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Your pets need a safe place to ride out storms

Make a plan for your pet. They're not allowed in shelters. Many veterinarians and kennels take care of established clients first, and space is limited. Check with your veterinarian now. If your pet doesn't have a doctor, this would be a good time to get one.

By TIMES STAFF WRITER

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 30, 1999


Red Cross shelters will not accept pets, so you need to make other arrangements now.

Friends or relatives living outside evacuation areas provide the best boarding possibilities. Most clinics and kennels say they will charge their regular boarding rates and take pets on a first-come, first-served basis. However, some say they will give preference to their regular customers.

Pets under medication should go to a veterinary hospital.

The animal should wear an identification collar and be in a carrier or cage. A leash, water bowl, food for at least two days, any necessary medications -- all tagged with proper identification -- and specific care instructions should accompany the animal. Pet boarders may require proof that your pets have been vaccinated against rabies, distemper/parvo, bordatella, coronavirus, feline leukemia, rhino-tracheitis/calici virus or panleukopenia within the past 12 months.

Humane society officials urge pet owners to heed early evacuation warnings because shelters will not come to homes to pick up pets.

Pinellas County Animal Control suggests that large animals -- especially horses -- be released into larger open pastures. Once a storm passes, owners should remove their horses as soon as practical.

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