Tips for animal safety


The Southern California wildfires are leaving concerned animal guardians who may be forced to evacuate wondering how to protect their animals. Evacuees should never assume that they will be able to return home soon, despite any assurances to the contrary. Would you please share these emergency tips with readers?

Do not leave your animals behind to fend for themselves if you evacuate. They aren’t any better equipped to survive the potential threat of this disaster than humans. If you live in an area placed on evacuation standby, know your emergency destination ahead of time. Several shelters and many motels in the area are accepting small animals. Place animals in secure carriers. Take a clean sheet to cover the cage when needed, a water container and dish, a towel, and food for the animal.

Put a clear ID tag, even handmade if necessary, on your animals. Dogs should be in harnesses and on leashes, as frightening circumstances may make them bolt. Never turn domesticated animals loose to fend for themselves. Do not tie animals outside where they will be frightened and unable to flee if fire or smoke arrives. In order to avoid theft, if you take them with you, do not keep them in an unattended vehicle.

For more information, please visit PETA’s disaster preparedness Web site at

Liz Welsh

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals