Pet Emergencies

Plan now so your pets are protected in the face of danger.

Natural and man-made disasters happen unexpectedly, often leaving people and their pets scrambling for safety. Think you won’t be affected? Maybe think again. Our very own shelter experienced unexpected flooding recently, when heavy rains from winter storms inundated several of our campuses. In a matter of minutes, a regular work day was transformed into an all-hands-on-deck effort to sandbag vulnerable shelter entrances, move animals to safety and eradicate (in some locations) up to a foot of water that had quickly seeped into our facilities.

Thankfully, all animals are safe and sound. But emergency situations aren’t always this forgiving. So it’s important for pet parents to take preemptive measures today so they can ensure their animals are protected whenever disasters arise.

Here are some precautions you can take now to be better prepared in the face of a pet emergency:

  • Have your pet licensed AND microchipped so they can be easily identified if they become lost during a disaster situation.
  • Know where your pet will typically hide in your house when they are afraid. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster or can better help rescuers locate and bring your pet to safety.
  • Research hotels and motels outside your immediate area for pet policies and ask friends and relatives outside the area if you and your pets can stay with them in case of a disaster. Most evacuation centers are not pet friendly, so this step is especially crucial.
  • Keep a pet carrier and an emergency kit readily available so that you and your pet can evacuate to safety quickly, and with vital supplies in tow.
  • Know when to seek professional rescue assistance. If you have to evacuate at the last minute and cannot take your pets, don’t be a hero and return to the danger zone to try to rescue them. Contact a trained professional rescue team, such as San Diego Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Reserve 24-hour hotline: 619-299-0871. In case of an emergency (flood, fire or other disaster situation) San Diego Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Reserve is trained, equipped, and ready to help transport horses, livestock or even household pets to safety.

For more information on how you can protect your pets from unexpected emergencies, visit the Pet Safety Tips section of our website.