Hurricane season kicked off June 1, and already we have seen storm activity. That makes this a good time to consider your evacuation plans and how pets should be included. Pets’ survival is largely based on the plans that you put into place today.
Decide now where you will go and check for lodging that allows pets. Have a Plan B destination in mind in case the first choice is not pet-friendly.
Make reservations early. Having a guaranteed room will lessen your stress levels. Most places have no- or low-penalty cancellation policies.
Make sure now that all pets have collars with up-to-date identification tags. Mobile phone numbers should be on the tags, along with an alternate phone number.
Having pets microchipped, with the chips registered and up-to-date, will increase the chances of being reunited in the event that they become separated from the family. Also, vet records and rabies-shot information may be required if planning to board the pets during the evacuation.
Pack all the supplies the pets will need, such as food, bowls, bottled water and medications. Travel kennels also are recommended for safely transporting pets. If transportation is an issue, have a plan in place with family or friends so that everyone, including pets, can be accommodated.
Leave town early. This allows for a smoother exit from the city and less congestion on the roadway, which can make stopping to let pets out along the way easier.
New Orleans residents needing transportation assistance can register for City-Assisted Evacuation. This plan has designated pick up spots throughout the city in the event of a mandatory evacuation. Pets can be included in this program, but be aware that there are restrictions:
Small pets (about 15 pounds) can ride with owners on the bus.
Larger animals, aggressive animals, pets that are hard to control and multiple animals cannot ride with owners to the train station.
If a pet cannot ride the bus, provisions will be made to get that pet to the Union Passenger Terminal.
When registering at the City Assisted Evacuation pick-up points, owners will be asked to register their pet’s information as well. Owners and their pets will be assigned ID numbers that will allow state officials to track where everyone in a family is going, including pets.
For information on the City-Assisted Evacuation Plan in regard to pets, visit: www.nola.gov/ready/hurricane/pets/.
Pets should never be left behind when there is the threat of a storm.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Louisiana SPCA presents a Frisky Felines event in which all cats will be available for adoption for $10 and kittens for $25. Note that normal adoption procedures will apply. To adopt during Frisky Felines, visit 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit www.la-spca.org/adopt for information.
SATURDAY: Join the Louisiana SPCA on the north shore for a pre-Father’s Day celebration from noon to 4 p.m. at the Abita Brewing Co. Beer Garden in Covington. The Turbodog Days of Summer event means 20 percent of beer and Turbodog gear sales will be donated to the animals. The event is free, so come and enjoy music, Dat Dog food, raffles and more. For information, visit www.la-spca.org/events.
SUNDAY: Enjoy a Sunday jazz brunch buffet benefitting the Louisiana SPCA with bottomless mimosas, unlimited food and live music at Algiers Auditorium, 2485 Guadalcanal St., New Orleans, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday in June. Tickets are $30 for early registration. Use Promo code LASPCA for 20 percent off. For information, visit http://bit.ly/jazzibrunch.
MONDAY: Dirty Coast is partnering with the Louisiana SPCA on July 20, when 20 percent of profits made on retail and online sales between midnight and noon will be donated to the Louisiana SPCA. Visit www.dirty coast.com to shop.
TUESDAY: The first in a series of summer socials to benefit the Humane Society of Louisiana and the Orangutan Project will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Seed, 1330 Prytania St., New Orleans. The restaurant is known for plant-based dishes. The Humane Society operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary in Mt. Hermon and investigates animal cruelty complaints statewide. For information, call (888) 6 HUMANE [648-6263].
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. In Jefferson Parish, email molsen@ jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@ jeffparish.net. In St. Bernard Parish, email email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.