Pets: Early evacuation is key when bringing pets along _lowres

Photo provided by Animal Rescue New Orleans -- Berry is a stunning hound mix with delicate white paws and a cute little bib. She currently lives in a foster home, and loves other dogs and her foster mom. She is ready for a home of her own. The adoption fee is $200 and includes spay, shots, a microchip, rabies vaccination and heartworm treatment.

With hurricane season come preparations for evacuation, should a storm threaten our area. Evacuation plans should always include your pets.

Evacuating with a pet requires planning. Do you have a way to transport your pets? Do you have a destination lined up that accepts pets?

Early evacuation is key. When you are leaving with children and pets, it is advisable to leave early, before conditions become severe, and to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. If you wait for a mandatory evacuation order and require the assistance of emergency personnel, there is no guarantee that your pets will be assisted as well.

Make sure you have transportation for you and your pets and an appropriate travel kennel. Pack food, bowls, water and any medications your pet will need. Two-car families should consider taking both vehicles to ensure that everyone can travel safely and comfortably. If transportation is an issue, check with family and friends and make a plan to travel together so that everyone, including pets, can be accommodated.

If you need transportation assistance in New Orleans, you can register for city-assisted evacuation. There are 17 pick-up spots designated in a mandatory evacuation.

Pets can take part in this program, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Small pets (about 15 pounds) can ride with you on the bus. Larger animals, aggressive animals, pets that are hard to control or multiple animals cannot all ride with you to the train station.

If you have a pet that cannot ride the bus, provisions will be made to get your pet to the Union Passenger Terminal. You will stay at the pick-up location with your animal until it is picked up.

When you register at the city-assisted evacuation pick-up points, you will be asked to register your pet as well. You and your pet will be assigned an ID number that will allow state officials to track where everyone in your family is going, including your pet.

Registration is required in order to leave town using city resources. For more information on the city-assisted evacuation plan in regard to pets, visit www.nola.gov/ready/hurricane/pets.

Make sure that your pet’s collar has up-to-date identification. Your mobile phone number should be on your pets’ tags and an alternate phone number as well. Having your pet microchipped with a registered, up-to-date chip will increase your chances of being reunited in the event that you become separated.

Pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed. Having a solid evacuation plan in place ahead of time will alleviate stress and allow for a smooth exit should an evacuation be necessary.

Events

PAUSE 4 PAWS: Dozens of restaurants will be donating 20 percent of their proceeds to the LA/SPCA on Thursday. For a list of participating restaurants, visit www.la-spca.org/pause.

PET ADOPTION EVENT: LA/SPCA will hold a pet adoption event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Whole Foods, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. Adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help you select the right pet for your family. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit la-spca.org for information.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net, and in St. Bernard Parish, send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans. Contact ARNO at arno.advocate@gmail.com, call (504) 571-1900 or visit www.animalrescuenew orleans.org.