The middle of an emergency is no time to plan — if you have pets, taking some simple steps now can prevent tragedy in case of a fire, flood, or other
disaster. Although no one likes to think about these things, it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. Here are some tips:
Be sure you have at least as many pet carriers as number of cats or other small animals, and place them in an easily accessible place, like a closet near
the door or fire escape route. If you live in a multi-story home, you may want to have carriers available in two locations. In the event of an emergency,
if you can’t find or access a carrier, a pillow case will work as a temporary solution and prevent your cat from injuring you out of fear.
Mark your exterior doors and windows with stickers identifying the number and type of animals in your home. These stickers are FREE at New Mexican Kennels
PHOTOS OF YOUR PET(S)
Take photographs of your pets and store them in a place other than your home. Even better, take photos of yourself with your pets, making it even easier
to identify whose home they belong in. If you have digital photos, upload them to Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, or another photo sharing website so
you have a remote copy. If you have to leave your home without your pets or are unable to get inside to retrieve them, you will have pictures available
to use on posters and to show to emergency personnel.
- Keep the phone number of your veterinarian and an emergency vet office saved in your wallet and/or cell phone.
- Know your pet’s favorite hiding spots so you know where to look first.
- Give a friend or neighbor whom you trust with your pets a copy of your house keys, a list of your pets’ favorite hiding places, and the location of
your pet carriers.
- If you live in a multi-unit building, talk to your neighbors about your emergency/fire safety plan, and ask for theirs.
STATE OF NEW MEXICO PROCEDURES
New Mexico’s procedures for animals during an emergency. If your pets are found when you’re not home, where will they be taken until you can be located?
In brief, here is information from the State of New Mexico on animal handling during a local or statewide emergency.
“New Mexico Animal Control Association (NMACA): à When requested by NMLB, dispatches a representative to the EOC to provide direction and control with
regard to all other animal issues (i.e. companion animals, strays, wildlife). à Coordinates with representatives of New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB),
other organizations, and local officials for the comprehensive response to animal issues. à May call on local animal humane associations, national
animal support agencies and voluntary organizations as resources. à Provides direction and control with regard to companion animals, strays and wildlife
including but not limited to the following issues: Population estimation Recovery, retrieval, rescue and evacuation Public health, safety and
security Animal sheltering New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association (NMVMA) à Coordinates Emergency Veterinary Triage by volunteer veterinarians.
A comprehensive list of recommendations from our State may be found here.
TO DO LIST
- Talk to your renter’s insurance about whether yours includes a pet policy to cover injury to your pets. Be aware that most renter’s and homeowner’s
insurance policies do not cover injury to your pets.
- Consider where you would keep your pets (both short-term and long-term) if you were forced to leave your home due to emergency. For the short-term,
plan ahead on an immediately accessible space where you can place your pets, like a car or a friend’s porch, spare room, or even bathroom. For
the long-term, if you will need to board them, research businesses ahead of time.
- Be financially prepared. Consider having a specific savings account for pet emergencies or having a credit card specifically to finance pet emergencies.
Companies like CareCredit allow pet owners to have a line of credit available specifically/only for pet
medical care, and this is accepted many veterinarians in the Albuquerque area. Check with your veterinarian to see if they accept this method of
payment. Keep duplicate cards or the card numbers somewhere other than your home. Note: CareCredit must be used once every calendar year to keep
the account active.
- Keep an emergency kit with a supply of pet food and any medications your pet may need.
- Check your smoke detector once per month to be sure it’s functional and change the batteries at least once per year. If you have a home alarm system,
ask about smoke detectors that will trigger the alarm system. Also, practice regular fire prevention steps, such as unplugging unused appliances,
not overloading outlets, keeping flammables away from heat or ignition sources, etc. Consider placing recurring reminders on your calendar.
- Put collars and ID tags on each of your pets with your phone number. For cats, we recommend break-away collars. If you have a dog, register it within
your city of residence and keep its registration tag and rabies vaccine tag on the collar.
- Microchip your pets and keep the address and contact information up to date with the chip company. If your pet escapes your home during an emergency
and ends up at a shelter or vet office, this will increase the chances he will find his way back to you. And unlike collars, microchips cannot
break or fall off.
RELIEF FUNDS -FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Statewide: The OSCAR Foundation
Statewide: Santa Fe Community Foundation Offers multiple funds to help
in a variety of situations.
Dona Ana County: Dona Ana County Humane Society Animal Relief Fund
Don’t forget that you can pick up complimentary Emergency Window Stickers from New Mexican Kennels that list the pets in your home. If you can’t get in
to the kennel, feel free to call our great Customer Service Representatives at (505) 344-0158 and we’ll mail you stickers
for your windows.