With Hurricane Florence on the horizon, it is important to have an Emergency Preparedness plan in place for both you and your pets. It is difficult to measure how many pets are lost during hurricane season, but it is easily in the thousands. Shelters in Hurricane zones send their animals to other shelters in safer areas in order to accommodate the influx of lost pets after a hurricane. Greenville’s own shelters, the Greenville Humane Society and Greenville County Animal Care, take in animals from Charleston regularly so the Charleston shelters can use their resources to help save your pet’s life. If you are in a hurricane-prone area, make sure your pet is included in your disaster preparedness and evacuation plans. The ASPCA has some great guidelines to make sure you and your pet both get through weather-related disasters safely, like make sure your pet is microchipped, and have extra food to last several days, or arrange other temporary accommodations if you are able. A monogrammed collar, leash or harness from Paw Paws with your pet’s name and your phone number would be helpful, too, if your pet were to get lost. If you do have to leave your pet while you evacuate, make sure you do NOT tie it to a tree, lock it in a fence, or leave it anywhere that it cannot escape. Your pet is a family member and deserves a chance to live, too.
It is important to help local Greenville shelters as well, so they can take in more displaced animals. Consider fostering or adopting an animal from your local shelter so they have more room to take in displaced hurricane animals. If you are able to assist animals in any way; like transport, foster, have extra paddock space, can donate supplies, etc., visit the Southeastern US Animal Rescue Disaster Help group on Facebook.