Animal Rescue: Finding pet-friendly lodging during an evacuation requires thinking ahead _lowres

Photo provided by Animal Rescue New Orleans—Timmy came to the shelter as a small kitten in January. He is good-natured and plays well with his shelter friends. His pearly white coat with grey markings is as soft as silk. Cat adoption (one year or older) is $85 and includes shots, rabies, spay/ neuter, dewormer, and chip.

It’s never too early to make your hurricane evacuation plan. Last week, we talked about planning for an evacuation with pets and making sure you have proper transportation to get you, your family and your pets out of harm’s way. Now we can look at finding pet-friendly lodging.

It cannot be emphasized enough that early evacuation is key. When you are leaving with children and pets, it is best to leave early before conditions become severe, giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. If you wait for a mandatory evacuation and require the assistance of emergency personnel, there is no guarantee that your pets will be assisted as well.

Never assume you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. You should have a plan in place ahead of time that will include your pets. Ask family and friends outside of your area if they can shelter you and/or your pets, if needed.

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

Contact hotels to see what their pet policies are, including any restrictions on the number of pets, size and species. Ask whether any of their pet restrictions would be waived in the event of an emergency. Some hotels that do not normally allow pets will make an exception in the event of an emergency. However, never assume an exception will be made once you arrive. Call ahead so there are no surprises. A couple of good online resources for pet-friendly lodging include bringfido.com and petswelcome.com.

Your pets will be unsure of what is going on, and you will want to make them as comfortable as possible. Bring their food, treats, food bowls, medications, bedding and toys, as well as collars and leashes. You also will want to have your pets’ updated rabies tags and paperwork, should you have to board them at any point during your evacuation.

Evacuating for a hurricane is a stressful time for everyone, including your pets. Having a proper plan in place that includes transportation and a safe destination that will accept all of your family members will help to make an evacuation a little easier on everyone.

Events

ARNO FUNDRAISER: A fundraiser for Animal Rescue New Orleans will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at The Blue Jean Bar, 5414 Magazine St. There will be a gift certificate raffle and guests will meet ARNO dogs available for adoption. When guests mention ARNO, 10 percent of their tabs will be donated to ARNO.

YAPPY HOUR: The LA/SPCA will be the beneficiary of a Yappy Hour from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday on the patio at Felipe’s Mid-City, 411-1 N. Carrollton Ave. Participants and their leashed pets will relax outside, and Felipe’s will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Louisiana SPCA. Call (504) 288-8226 or visit felipesneworleans.com 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, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at arno. advocate@gmail.com, call (504) 571-1900 or visit www. animalrescueneworleans.org.