Monday, January 24, 2022

Caring for Pets During a Hurricane

Long time Marco residents, Sammy and Phill Miller’s family includes six cats of various ages. They made a decision to leave early and get out of Hurricane Irma’s harm’s way. They booked a hotel in the vicinity of Winterhaven, Florida to wait out the brunt of Irma. They did not want to leave their home but safety was their priority for themselves and their six cats.

Photo by Sammy Miller
Phil and Sammy Miller’s 6 cats relaxing at a hotel in Winterhaven.

Our dogs, cats and birds are members of our family and there is no way we are going to leave them behind. They are totally dependent on us for their safety. You would not leave your children behind to fend for themselves. Our pets deserve our protection during critical threatening situations such as a hurricane.

Sue Keller transported her two cats to Georgia, but had to leave the care and feeding of the feral cats in her care to a good neighbor. Still she worried about them. The feral cats had their own routine, twice a day feeding, one in the early morning and one in the late evening. How are they going to survive the high wind and rain? Will the cats still be around when she returned, Sue worried.

Allyson and Jim Richards have two dogs and a 20-year-old blue and gold macaw. The dogs are the easy part, but transporting a macaw is not an easy task. They have decided to stay on the island and designated one of the upstairs bathrooms for Billie.

Photo by Allyson Richards          Billie, the Richards’ 20-year-old blue and gold macaw.

Here are some helpful tips for pet owners:

  • Keep your pets in their carrier and make sure they are near you. They will feel more secure. If you need to evacuate, they will be ready.
  • Make sure you have their favorite toys in their carrier or a shirt
  • with your scent. They will feel more comfortable.
  • If you decide to stay at home, make sure the pets are at the safest zone, a room like a bathroom where they feel secure.
  • Make sure you have all your pet’s vaccination records, pet supplies, water and flashlight accessible during the blackout period.

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