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Pet Evacuation and Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters: Tips and Information For Helping You and Your Pet in a Disaster
Since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, major changes have been made to federal and state emergency planning laws with respect to animals. At the time, there were no laws that required that animals be evacuated, rescued or sheltered in an emergency. The lack of provisions for pets put human health and safety in jeopardy because some pet owners chose to weather the storm at home for fear of what would happen to their animals. As a result, federal and state laws have been passed to include provisions for evacuation of animals, rescue and recovery, shelters and tracking in disaster plans.
In 2006, the federal Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) was passed. PETS directs the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop emergency preparedness plans and ensure that state and local emergency plans take into account the needs of individuals with pets and service animals during a major disaster or emergency. Since then, over 30 states have adopted either a law that deals with disaster planning and pets or have made known administrative plans on the subject. More information on the PETS Act
AKC Pet Disaster Relief
Local Emergency Management is required by law to prepare and care for its citizens – including plans to accommodate people with their pets in the event of a disaster. To successfully meet these newer legal requirements, including the PETS Act of 2006, government organizations cannot alone meet the challenges posed by a catastrophe. AKC Pet Disaster Relief is a grant program that can be a key component local Emergency Management’s disaster planning efforts to help people and their pets.
Take Your Pets With You in an Emergency
IF YOU EVACUATE YOUR HOME, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider family or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead
The key to survival during a disaster, crisis or emergency is to be as prepared as possible before the storm hits. Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for you and your pet and you will greatly increase your pet's chances of survival.
Local and state health and safety regulations do not permit the Red Cross to allow pets in disaster shelters. (Service animals are allowed in Red Cross shelters.). It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL DISASTER STRIKES TO DO YOUR RESEARCH.
* The best option is to get a friend or relative outside the evacuation area to take your pets, and preferably you, too. If that's not possible, locate a pet friendly hotel or motel on PetFriendlyTravel.com or one that waives animal prohibitions during evacuations.
* Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
* You may not be home when the evacuation order comes; find out if a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location.
What is Pet Friendly Evacuation Sheltering?
Pet-friendly evacuation sheltering can be planned and executed in a multitude of ways. In some communities, the human evacuation shelter is within the same room, facility, or campus as accommodations for pets. This allows the animals' owners to have a large role in caring for the pet. In other communities, the human shelter and pet shelter may be in separate locations. In this case, evacuees are told where to bring their pets, while they will be staying at a shelter for people.
If you will need to go to a pet friendly shelter during an evacuation, make sure you have the following items ready to go for your pet: a leash and collar, a crate, a two-week supply of food and water, your pets' vaccination records, medications, and written instructions for feeding and administering medication. If your favorite four-legged friend is feline, be sure you bring kitty-litter and an appropriate container, too.
Not all communities offer pet friendly emergency/evacuation shelters. To find out if there is a pet friendly shelter in your area, contact your county emergency management office or local animal shelterFurther Information and Resources
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) information on animals in public evacuation centers
VetTechnicians.org is an extensive digital library of learning resources for veterinary professionals and people with an interest in animal welfare. Includes a section on Disaster Preparedness for Animals.
Click on the links below to find designated pet friendly emergency/evacuation shelters in the U.S..
Alabama Emergency Animal Shelters
The state shelters will accept "any" animals, including snakes and unvaccinated animals. The state will provide the medical equipment and testing necessary to give rabies shots and will provide medication for any animals with a communicable disease. Owners will not be able to stay with their pets, although there will be some "limited" room elsewhere on the property for owners to stay. Animals are housed at the following facilities:
Houston County Farm Center, 1701 East Cottonwood Road, Dothan, AL (can house 400 domestic animals, 150 large animals).
Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive, Montgomery, AL (can house 2,500-5,000 domestic animals, 700-900 large animals).
Tucson, City of
The City of Tucson has a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan that accommodates keeping families together and that includes pets. Every effort will be made to provide pet shelters. Generally, pets are not allowed in emergency shelters, with the exception of service animals.
Lompoc, City of: Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet
Find local Pet Shelter Resources.
Monterey County: The SPCA for Monterey County Disaster Preparedness
The SPCA for Monterey County was the very first animal welfare agency in the U.S. to partner with the American Red Cross and shelter pets adjacent to human evacuation shelters during disasters.
Thank you, Beth!
Lewes, City of: Taking Care of Pets in Disasters
Tips for pet owners and pet caregivers for protecting pets in a disaster.
Hurricane Preparedness for Horse Owners: Florida
Includes information on horse evacuations and disaster preparedness tips.
Pets brought to a shelter will be taken care of by County Animal Services for the duration of the event and reunited with their owners post storm.
Pet Friendly Shelters will be available for residents to shelter with and care for their pets at the following locations:
Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John, FL 32927
Viera Regional Park, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne, FL 32940
Palm Bay Regional Park, 1951 Malabar Road NW, Palm Bay, FL 32908
These shelters will be open to people and pets in mandatory evacuation areas only. Shelter openings are incident-specific. Never go to a shelter unless local officials have announced it is open.
Currently there is only one emergency shelter in Broward County available to residents with pets who either live in an evacuation area, or a mobile home anywhere in Broward County. Pre-registration is required. The location of the shelter is: Millennium Middle School, 5803 N.W. 94 tth Avenue, Tamarac, Florida 33321. More information on the pet friendly shelter at Millennium Middle School
Report to your designated shelter as soon as the shelter has been opened. Animals allowed are dogs, cats (domestic breeds only in cages, birds (domestic in cages only), rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbil (domestic in cages only). Pets are not permitted in “resident” areas. There are separate “living areas” for pets and for people.
The pet friendly shelter will be located at the Lecanto Primary School. Dogs (80 pounds or less), cats and birds are welcome. Caging is available for dogs and cats; however if you have an bird, you must provide caging. All animals must be up-to-date with their county license and rabies vaccination. DHPP is recommended for dogs and FVRCP for cats. You must bring this information with you. You can pre-register your pet(s) to stay at the shelter
Clay County is working to meet the needs of the community by creating a pet friendly public Evacuation Shelter program. This program is in Development as a coordinated project between the various clay county departments such as Animal Control, the Emergency Operations Center, the clay county Health Department, the Clay County School System and the American Red Cross. Animal species accepted into the shelters will be: Guide Animals, Dogs, Cats, Rodents (such as Hamsters, Gerbils), Rabbits, Birds. NO REPTILES WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE SHELTERS. All pets must have proof of vaccination and registration, be properly crated/caged and will be maintained by their owners. Animals may be housed in separate rooms than their owners.
Collier County Domestic Animal Services in conjunction with the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services is offering a pet-friendly shelter to be located at North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL. Only cats and dogs are accepted at the shelter. Pre-registration is required; registration runs from June 1 through the end of November. Registrations are suspended once a Hurricane Warning has been issued.
Pet friendly shelters locations will be identified by local emergency management officials in response to the incident at hand and will be relayed to the public through known information thoroughfares such as TV, Radio, JaxReady.com, and social media. The following animal species will be accepted into the shelters: dogs, cats, rodents (such as hamsters, gerbils, etc.), birds, and rabbits. No reptiles will be allowed in shelters.
Escambia County has identified a pet-friendly shelter for dogs and cats only. There is limited space at the pet-friendly shelter and pre-registration is required. Once the pet-friendly shelter is open, space is available on a first come first serve basis only. Pet owners will be required to shelter in the Red Cross shelter adjacent to where the pet-friendly shelter is be located so they will be available to care for their pets as required. The people and pet-friendly shelters are separate facilities, but the buildings are adjacent to each other.
In a mandatory evacuation Flagler County will provide pet sheltering options. Bunnell Elementary, 305 N. Palmetto Street, Bunnell, will accommodate residents with pets; dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents and turtles are the allowed pets. There is a four pet maximum. Pet owners should bring current vaccination records and supplies, including crates and medications.
Pet Friendly Shelter is located at DS Parrott Middle School, 19220 Youth Drive, Brooksville, FL 34601. Residents with pets are encouraged to make prior arrangements or call 352-796-5062. Hernando County Animal Services for assistance.
Hillsborough County Shelter Information
Hillsborough County currently has four designated public pet-friendly shelters:
Bartels Middle School, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd., Tampa, FL 33647
Burnett Middle School; 1010 N. Kingsway Rd., Seffner, FL 33584
Sgt. Smith Middle School, 14303 Citrus Pointe Dr., Tampa, FL 33625
Shields Middle School, 15732 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, FL 33573
The owner must be registered at the public shelter in order to utilize the services of the pet-friendly shelter. Space is limited and you must remain at the shelter to provide care for your pet(s). Bring proof of current rabies vaccination, a sturdy carrier, and supplies for your pet. No reservations will be accepted and space is first come, first served.
Indian River County
Indian River County's first pet friendly evacuation shelter is located at Liberty Magnet School, 6850 81st Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32967. An advance registration application is required from those who plan to use this facility.
Lake County has nine primary shelters, and additional shelters are available if necessary. In most circumstances, the primary shelters will be the first to open. In addition to being general population risk shelters, all primary shelters are pet friendly and many serve those residents who have registered with the County's special-needs program. All pets accepted by authorities at shelters must be crated and have documentation of up-to-date rabies vaccinations. The shelters are located at:
Astatula Elementary, 13925 Florida Ave., Astatula
Leesburg Elementary, 2229 South St., Leesburg — special needs and pet friendly
Lost Lake Elementary, 1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont — special needs and pet friendly
Mascotte Elementary, 460 Midway Ave., Mascotte
Round Lake Elementary, 31333 Round Lake Road, Mount Dora — pet friendly
Spring Creek Elementary, 44440 Spring Creek Road, Paisley
Treadway Elementary, 10619 Treadway School Road, Leesburg — pet friendly
Umatilla Elementary, 401 Lake St., Umatilla — special needs and pet friendly
Villages Elementary, 695 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake — special needs and pet friendly
To register for the special-needs program or the public-shelter registry, call the Lake County Emergency Management Division at 352-343-9420.
Lee County has one Pet Friendly Shelter (dogs and cats only) at South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33912. Lee County Animal Services manages this shelter. The Pet Shelter is first come/first served. No pre-registration is required or allowed. Use of this shelter is restricted to persons living in an area that is currently under evacuation. You must shelter at the school with your pet. The pets will be sheltered in a separate location at the school from the pet owners. Owners will be responsible for feeding, exercising and cleaning up behind their pets. More information is available online at Lee County Animal Services
If you need to evacuate during a disaster you may bring your pets to the Levy County Animal Services Shelter, 12055 NE 69th Lane (Levy County Landfill Compound). The Emergency Pet Shelter will open only when the Emergency Management Office opens up the shelters for people. When bringing your pet to the Emergency Pet Shelter you should have a kennel or crate big enough for the animal to turn a round and stand up.
Shelter openings vary with each emergency. Stay tuned to local media for a listing of shelters, to include the pet-friendly shelters, which will be opened for an event. Do not go to the shelter until local officials announce, through the media, that the shelter is open.
Marion County Animal Services offers a pet-friendly shelter at Vanguard High School, the only county shelter that accepts pets. Vanguard High School is located at 7 NE 28th St., Ocala, FL 34475. Owners must provide proof of rabies vaccinations and county licenses for their pets. Birds must have and be in secure cages. Owners must stay at Vanguard but will not be housed in the same building as their pets. Exotic animals, aggressive dogs or animals weighing more than 80 pounds are not accepted.
The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will house your pet at their facility for residents who are recommended or ordered to evacuate. Pre-Registration is required due to limited capacity.
Pet friendly evacuation centers accept cats and dogs, birds, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats and rabbits (small-sized, under 10 pounds, such as California or Dutch breeds). There are currently two centers that accept families with their pets during emergencies: E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami, FL 33165; and Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High, 1410 County Line Road, Miami, FL 33179. Pet owners residing in hurricane evacuation zones, unsafe structures or trailers can participate. Pre-registration for the two shelters is required and space is limited. Residents must provide proof of residency within an evacuation zone and present medical and current vaccination records for each pet. Pet owners must bring supplies for themselves and their pet(s). Limit of four (4) pets per household. Family member must remain in the PHEC with the pet(s).
The following pets are accepted at pet friendly shelters: Dog, Cats, Gerbils, Hamsters, Mice, Rats, Guinea pigs, Small Rabbits (small sized, under 10 pounds), Ferrets, Birds. Pet Friendly Shelters for Category 1 and 2 in Monroe County:
Key West High School, 2100 Flagler Ave.- #4-124 &4-125
Sugarloaf School, 225 Crane Blvd, MM19 - #3-123 & 1-123
Coral Shores High School, 89591 O/S Hwy, MM89.9 - # 2-004A, 2-110A & 2-1108
Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Rd.
Pet Friendly Shelter for Category 3 or higher out of Monroe County: E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion, 10901SW 24th St.
Only special needs residents who pre-register their pets are able to bring their pets with them to a shelter, and only if a pet-friendly sheltering is available at the time, they provide the required supplies (including a cage, food, etc.), and make arrangements in advance of their pickup.
Pet friendly evacuation shelters are located at the Yulee Elementary School, 86063 Felmore Road, Yulee, FL 32097; Callahan Middle School, 450121 Old Dixie Hwy, Callahan, FL 32011; and Hilliard Middle/Senior School, 1 Flashes Ave., Hilliard, FL 32046 (this is the Special Needs pet friendly shelter). All pets must have proof of vaccination and Nassau County license, be properly crated or caged and be maintained by their owners. The pet owners must remain in the co-located general population shelter while their pets are in the pet shelter.
Pets are not currently allowed in Okeechobee shelters.
Orange County has four shelters to bring your pet with you in the event of an emergency evacuation: Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808; Bithlo Community Center, 18801 Washington Ave., Orlando, FL 32820; Ft. Gatlin Recreation Complex, 2009 Lake Margaret Dr., Orlando, FL 32806; and Orlo Vista Park, 1 N. Powers Dr., Orlando, FL 32835. All shelters will not be open at once. Call 311 to find out which shelter is open and accepting pets and their families.
Only certain shelter facilities are designated as "pet friendly". As with all shelters, specific locations are announced prior to an event. However, in an effort to better people plan and prepare for an emergency, the 3 "pet friendly" shelters are Harmony, Kissimmee Middle, and Liberty High. If you intend to evacuate during a hurricane or other situation, please contact the Office of Emergency Management for specific details regarding pet friendly shelters at (407) 742-9000.
Palm Beach County
The county-owned gymnasium at West Boynton Recreation Center (east of high school), 6000 Northtree Blvd. in Lake Worth (between Hypoluxo Road and Gateway Boulevard off the east side of Jog Road) will be available as a pet friendly shelter. Dogs, cats and birds are accepted. No reptiles or livestock. The shelter is restricted to Palm Beach County residents residing in a mandatory evacuation zones or in mobile homes. Proof of residency is required. Space is limited and restrictions apply. Pet owners are required to stay at the shelter. Pets will be housed in separate area from people; pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animals' needs. For more information and to pre-register call the Palm Beach Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1266 or Pre-register for the Hurricane Pet Friendly Shelter
Pasco County has a limited amount of space available at the Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter for dog and cats only. Other types of pets will not be accepted. Pet owners must stay at the Fasano Shelter. The pet friendly shelter is not a boarding facility. The adult pet owner must be available at all times to care for their pets. The pet friendly shelter is for citizens that reside in evacuation zone A, B, C, and/or a mobile home.
Three public shelters in Pinellas County will accept pets, with priority given to people who are evacuating manufactured homes and flood zones:
Dunedin Highland Middle School, 70 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
Oak Grove Middle School, 1370 S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater
Thurgood Marshall Middle School, 3901 22 Ave. S., St. Petersburg
Pre-registration is required: online, at Pinellas County Animal Services; or call 727-582-2150.
Dogs, cats, and birds are accepted in pet shelters. No reptiles, exotic animals, pot belly pigs or farm animals. Polk County has three pet-friendly shelters that allow residents who own pets to shelter with their pets. Not all public shelters are automatically activated for each emergency. Three shelters in Polk County will accept pets:
Philip O’Brien Elementary School, 1225 East Lime Street, Lakeland, FL 33801
Lake Region High School, 1995 Thunder Road, Eagle Lake, FL 33839
Alta Vista Elementary School, 801 Scenic Highway, Haines City, FL 33844
Pet Shelters are primarily for pet owners who live in mobile or manufactured housing, substandard housing or in an area prone to flooding. All pets must be in an airline approved carrier. Proof of all required vaccinations, food, a leash, a collar and supplies for proper waste disposal must be brought to the shelter.
Putnam County only has one Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelter located at Ochwilla Elementary in Interlachen. For additional information on Evacuation Shelters in your area, please contact the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center at (386) 329-0379.
Santa Rosa County
Pets will be allowed only in designated pet friendly shelters. Pets will be allowed in the shelter on a first come, first serve basis. For an animal to be accepted into the pet friendly shelter it must be pre-registered. All animals must have a collar and rabies tag, proof of current vaccinations, and proof of ownership. Pet owners should bring food, leash (if applicable), toys/comfort items, crate, cage, kennel, and bedding with their animals to the pet friendly shelter at the time of entry. The Pet Friendly Shelter will be located at the Avalon Middle School, 5445 King Arthurs Way, Milton, FL 32583.
Sarasota County offers the following dog and cat-friendly shelters:
North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Blvd., Venice, FL 34291
Pine View School, 501 Old Venice Road, Sarasota, FL, 34229
Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 W. Price Blvd., Venice, FL 34291
Brookside Middle School, 3636 S. Shade Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239
Riverview High School, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL 34231
Woodland Middle School, 2700 Panacea Blvd., Venice, FL 34289
These shelters accept dogs and cats only. Pet friendly shelters require current vaccination records for dogs and cats.
Only two emergency shelters accept pets:
Lyman High, 865 South C.R. 427, Longwood, FL 32750
Bentley Elementary, 2190 Oregon Ave., Sanford, FL 32771
St. Johns County Emergency Shelters - Hurricane Matthew
Pet-friendly shelters are located at Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Lane, St. Augustine and South Woods Elementary School, 4750 FL-206, Elkton, FL 32033.
St. Johns County
The following two schools are designated as Pet Friendly Shelters:
South Woods Elementary School, 4750 SR-206 West, Elkton, FL 32033
Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Lane, St Augustine, FL 32092
Pre-registration is not required to go to a Public Pet Friendly Shelter. You only need to register if you need transportation assistance during an evacuation. Pet owners are required to shelter with their pets and care for them. Farm animals and exotics (primates, snakes, spiders, insects, etc.) are not permitted at Pet Friendly Shelters.
The only pet friendly shelter in Sumter County is located at South Sumter High School, 706 N. Main St., SR 475, Bushnell, FL 33513. All pets must be crated.
Volusia County - Hurricane Matthew
Pet Friendly Shelter: DeLand Middle School, 1400 Aquarius Ave., DeLand (nearing capacity).
Volusia County has 37 possible shelter locations which will be opened according to each particular disaster or emergency. During an emergency, it is possible that not all shelters will open at once. To find out which shelters are available, tune to the local news media or call the toll-free Citizens Information Hotline at: 866-345-0345 (Only during a disaster) In the event of a disaster, owners and their animals will be provided shelter at the Volusia County Fairgrounds on S.R. 44, one-quarter mile east of I-4, or other Volusia County designated pet friendly shelters. Some shelters in Volusia County have been designated “pet friendly.” Pet friendly means the owners and their animals can stay at the same shelter, but will be housed separately.
There will be no local shelters for pets during any category of hurricane. Most if not all veterinary clinics and kennels as well as the Humane Society and Chatham County Animal Control will not accept them prior to a storm. Many hotels and motels along the I-16 corridor and within host counties will accept pets with guests during hurricane emergencies. Public shelters will not. However, there will be designated pet shelters nearby in each of the host counties where there are public shelters. Owners will be informed of these locations upon reporting to the reception centers. They will be expected to sign Waivers and properly register their pet. Exotic pets (e.g., reptiles) will not be accepted. Evacuees who need public transportation to reach host county shelters (i.e., Category 3-5 storms) will be allowed to bring the pets on buses if they are in travel carriers. Evacuees using public transportation to local shelters (i.e., Category 1-2 storms) will have to leave the pets behind or make other arrangements. In all cases when pets are evacuated the owners will be instructed to bring carriers, identification tags, food, immunization records and medicines with them.
A pet friendly shelter for dogs, cats, birds, livestock, and horses is located at Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds, 301 Hale Street, Augusta, GA 30901.
Hawaii State Civil Defense
The State of Hawaii’s Civil Defense program in partnership with island humane societies has developed a list of designated shelters that will welcome pets. Animals will not be admitted to a pet-friendly emergency shelter without a crate or carrier that’s large enough to accommodate the pet comfortably. Pets need an ID tag, collar and a leash, as well as a week supply of the following: food, medications and litter for cats. Pet shelters are in separate rooms or buildings on public school campuses where emergency shelters for people are. The animals will be cared for by Humane Society volunteers. In the event of a disaster, listen to radio and television broadcasts to find out if your nearest shelter will be open. Depending on the nature of the emergency, not all shelters may open.
The Kauai Humane Society provides a pets only evacuation shelter for dogs, cats and small animals. There are requirements for each pet and space is limited. Public emergency sheltering services are available on a first come, first serve basis; no reservations are taken. The following locations also offer human and pet emergency sheltering in the event of a disaster: Waimea High School, Waimea Canyon School, Ele`lee School, Kalaheo School, Kauai High School, Kapaa High School, Kapaa Middle School.
Madison County Emergency Management Agency & Department of Homeland Security Office has obtained its own AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer. The Pet Disaster Relief trailer is equipped with cages, pet food, first-aid supplies and cleaning supplies and will create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets. The Anderson-housed trailer can be dispatched to anywhere in the county within 48 hours. It also can be used in other counties.
Louisiana Animal Evacuation
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is the lead agency charged with the evacuation and sheltering of household pets during a declared disaster in Louisiana. Parish governments and animal/pet facilities must file an emergency plan with the local parish office of emergency preparedness and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry by March 1st on an annual basis.
Louisiana State Animal Response Team
For people who do not have any transportation during an evacuation event, Parish OEP will be setting up Parish Pick-Up points for assisted transportation and there may be transportation available there for the pets of those families seeking evacuation assistance but NOT for self-evacuators.
Pet-friendly shelters may be opened during an evacuation. This information will be available at shelter information points.
New Orleans, City of
If you require City Assisted Evacuation to leave town and you have a pet, please note: Small pets (about 15 pounds) that can be held on your lap or can fit in a lap carrier 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.
In the event of an emergency, Cumberland County Animal Response Team (CART) can be mobilized to provide pet friendly emergency sheltering in conjunction with the American Red Cross human shelters. The pet shelter will be located within walking distance of the American Red Cross Human shelter. You will be notified via television, radio and Maine 2-1-1, where the “pet-friendly” co-shelters are located.
During a large-scale disaster, Baltimore County does not have the resources to care for thousands of animals. During certain small-scale emergencies, Baltimore County emergency managers do have the capability to open a "pet friendly" shelter at Eastern Technical High School in Essex. This shelter allows pet owners to bring leashed and crated dogs, cats and other pets weighing less than 80 pounds (excluding exotic pets). The animals are not allowed to intermingle with human evacuees in order to protect citizens with pet allergies or a fear of animals. They will be housed elsewhere on the school site, and pet owners will be able to visit and care for them.
In the event the Social Services Shelter at Easton High School is opened, the Talbot Animal Disaster Services shelter will also open to house pets for those residing in the shelter. Please be advised this shelter IS NOT a drop off for your pets- it is only for those residents living in the shelter.
In 2014 Massachusetts passed a law that will protect people and their pets when severe storms strike the area. The new law will require cities and towns to create an emergency evacuation and shelter plan for pets and service animals.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Ordinarily, only service animals are allowed inside public shelters, although in Massachusetts, the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) has made great strides in creating ‘pet-friendly’ sheltering options. Contact your Local Emergency Management Office regarding community animal policies at shelters, as well as other options you may have for sheltering your pets during an emergency.
Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team
In the event of a declared emergency, Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART) may provide for rescue, triage, temporary sheltering and/or transport of animals to veterinary clinics or alternate boarding facilities, CCDART strictly adheres to the Incident Command System as put for by FEMA.
Eastham, Town of
Nauset Regional Shelter at Nauset High School, 100 Cable Rd, Eastham, MA 02642, takes pets and will be open in an emergency.
Palmer, Town of
The primary emergency shelter for the Town of Palmer is located at the Converse Middle School, 24 Converse Street, Palmer, MA 01069. Pets should not be brought in until the evacuee is registered.
Yarmouth, Town of
The Cape Cod and the Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross has taken part in a dialogue with local emergency managers and encouraged them to establish rooms or areas in the facilities which house both Red Cross shelters and where pet owners and their pets can stay separately. These pet-friendly facilities are located alongside, but are not under the control of Red Cross shelters. At the present time, emergency animal care during a declared emergency/disaster will be limited to three proposed Regional shelters with animal care components – Dennis-Yarmouth High School (DY) in Yarmouth, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich and the Oak Ridge School in Sandwich. Animals admitted to these shelters will be limited to dogs, cats, ferrets and other small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, potbelly pigs) brought to the shelters by owners or rescuers.
Mississippi Board of Animal Health
Mississippi Board of Animal Health (MBAH) will direct and control all activities related to animal protection and control during an emergency. Pet-friendly shelter locations will be those designated by Mississippi Board of Animal Health/Emergency Management Team as meeting the safety standards for humans and/or animals. The pet-friendly shelter area should be large enough to separate species and, if necessary, quarantine for health and safety of animals, owners, and volunteers. Separate areas should be designated for dogs, cats, and other small animals; Owners will be required to bring records of recent vaccinations, identification tags or collars, documentation of animal work status, i.e. seeing eye, disability assistance, NASAR certification, etc.
The Humane Society of South Mississippi and the Emergency Management Agency have teamed up to provide a pet friendly evacuation shelter for Harrison County at Harrison Central High School, 15600 School Rd, Gulfport, MS. If you intend to utilize the pet-friendly hurricane shelter, you must stay at the shelter as well. Pre-registration is required.
Ocean Springs, City of
Individual shelters will be opened according to needs and circumstances. Animal shelter officials will be present at each shelter to transport animals to the animal shelter in Gautier. The Jackson County Pet Shelter (228-497-6350) will be at 4400 Audubon Dr Gautier, MS 39553.
Cape May County
Cape May County offers two portable, self-sustaining tractor trailers to house pets during an emergency. The first of their kind, at 52 feet each, the trailers can each house nearly 120 animals. Fully equipped with heat, air conditioning, running water and food supplies, these animal shelters provide peace-of-mind to residents, who can be reassured that their pets are safe from harm during an emergency situation. These trailers are placed at designated evacuation shelters; during the emergency, pet owners are then able to care for and comfort their own animals with the assistance of shelter operators.
New York City Emergency Management
The NYC emergency sheltering system is friendly to all pets but you will be responsible for their care so please bring your pet’s food, leashes, cage, and medication. Ideally, you should arrange to shelter other pets at a kennel or with friends or relatives outside the evacuation area. Legal pets with proper identification will be admitted into shelters with their owners. Owners should bring cleaning and food supplies with them, as well as containers and leashes.
A Pet Shelter is open at Nassau County Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale and in the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter in Port Washington.
Stillwater, Town of
Emergency pet sheltering, also referred to as pet-accessible shelters, is designed to meet the needs of people and their animals during emergencies and disasters.
Suffolk County, Long Island
Suffolk County will provide pet friendly shelters where you and your pet can go in the event of of an Evacuation or Emergency. The following facilities, for dogs, cats and birds only, will serve as Pet Friendly Shelters during times of emergency:
Suffolk County Fire Academy, Maple Avenue, Yaphank, NY 11980
The Islip/Brentwood Recreation Center, 99 3rd Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11751
Suffolk County Community College-Eastern Campus, Woodlands and Corchaug Buildings, 121 Speonk-Riverhead Road, Riverhead, NY 11901
Not every emergency requires opening a pet friendly shelter, therefore, residents should check this for announcements as to which Pet Friendly Shelters are open.
Bladen County - Hurricane Matthew
Bladen County officials will open a pet-friendly shelter at West Bladen High, 1600 NC-410, Bladenboro, NC 28320 at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8.
Brunswick County - Hurricane Matthew
Dogs and cats are accepted at the West Brunswick High School shelter, 550 Whiteville Rd NW, Shallotte, NC 28470. Pets are not accepted at the North Brunswick High School or South Brunswick High School shelters. Owners must stay at the shelter as well, and should bring documentation of rabies vaccines, food, any medicines, and any other items necessary for your pets. Residents who are evacuating may also take pets to the Brunswick County Animal Shelter. Animals must be reclaimed within three days of the state of emergency being lifted.
If you have a pet be ready to use the shelter if necessary: Newport Middle School, 500 E. Chatham Street, Newport, NC 28577. Companion Hurricane Shelter pet area manned by PAWS Volunteers.
Pets are not allowed in shelters. However, Chowan County may have a pet shelter available, check local resources for information or the Animal Control Department.
There are designated Pet Friendly Shelters in Forsyth County. Each of these locations will house evacuated citizens in one area and their owned pets in separate but co-located facilities. Each of the Pet Friendly evacuation shelters will have a veterinarian volunteer on the premises to evaluate the pets of evacuated citizens. Pets with significant injuries or illnesses will be transported to an animal hospital designated for the medical treatment of animals.
Animal Care & Control works with Emergency Management and American Red Cross to ensure that emergency sheltering for pets is available for anyone who needs to evacuate their home. Animal Care & Control may set up temporary pet shelters at various Red Cross Evacuation Shelters to house pets. Stay tuned to your local news stations for information on the locations of Evacuation Shelters.
New Hanover County
New Hanover County Animal Control Services will shelter your pet at no cost. Noble Middle School is a Co-location Shelter where you can seek shelter with your pet. You and your pet will be housed in separate locations of the school.
Onslow County - Hurricane Matthew
Onslow County is now activating two pet-friendly shelters located at: Jacksonville Commons Middle School, 315 Commons Dr S, Jacksonville, NC 28546 and Dixon High School, 160 Dixon School Rd, Holly Ridge, NC 28445. All storm shelters will open Saturday (10/8) at 7 a.m. and remain open as needed.
There is a designated pet friendly shelter at Jacksonville Commons Middle School, 315 Commons Drive South, Jacksonville, NC 28546. If a citizen elects to use the pet friendly shelter they will not be able to drop off their pet and leave. Citizens are required to remain at the shelter with their pet. Citizens will need to bring appropriate and adequate supplies for their pet for the duration of their stay at the pet friendly shelter.
Pet owners may bring their pets with them to the shelter. However, pets are not allowed to stay in human shelters. Arrangements are made for Animal Protection or Animal Control to receive the pet and carry it to a pet shelter for the duration of your stay.
Pender County - Hurricane Matthew
A pet-friendly shelter is located at Burgaw Middle School, 500 S Wright St, Burgaw, NC 28425. Bring your pet food and proof of rabies vaccination. If proof is not available, the sheriff's department will provide a rabies vaccination for $5 per pet. Rabies protection is mandatory before a pet can be admitted at the shelter.
Pitt County - Hurricane Matthew
Residents who choose to evacuate and go to one of the available shelters should keep in mind that local and state health and safety regulations do not permit the Red Cross to allow pets at disaster shelters. Below is a list of reputable kennels currently accepting pets:
Animal Care Veterinary Hospital, 502 McMillan Lane, Greenville 252.758.9971
Animal Hospital of Pitt County, 107 Trade Street, 252.756.0148
Barking Buddies, 104 Trade Street, 252.439.2275
Four Paws Inn, 3131 Moseley Drive, 252.329.7297
Hoffman-Haus Pet Resort, 1031 Laurie Ellis Road, 252.355-4663
E&B Boarding, 3729 JC Galloway Road, 252.531.7057
Riverside Pet Resort, 6038 Clarks Neck Road, Washington, 252.975.5800
Local emergency shelters for people will not accept pets, but when such shelters open the Pitt County Animal Response Team will open a shelter to board pets.
Wake County Emergency Preparedness
Public shelters for people will not accept pets. A written DISASTER PLAN will help you and your pets survive. If you must evacuate without time to prepare your pet, Animal Control will house your pet. This space is limited and should be ONLY a last resort.
Winston-Salem, City of
Three Red Cross shelters in Forsyth County have been designated as pet friendly shelters where pets and their owners may reside in the same building–but not the same room. These may not be open for each disaster; therefore, you should make arrangements for your pet(s) before disaster strikes.
County Animals Rescue and Evacuation (CARE)
The County Animals Rescue and Evacuation (CARE) of Lorain, Medina and Summit counties provide emergency asistance for all animals during a disaster. CARE is recognized by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency as the official disaster response team for animals in northeast Ohio (Regions 2 & 5).
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management - Prepare OKC
Include all pets in your household's disaster plan.
Rhode Island Animal Response Team (RIDART)
RIDART provides humane care and handling of animals before, during, and after disasters by staffing emergency animal care centers.
Aiken County Emergency Shelters - Hurricane Matthew
No pets are allowed at the shelters. The 211 help line will have information about pet-friendly hotels, motels and animal shelters in the area. Horses, however, will be provided shelter - the Hippodrome will have up to 300 stalls for horses. Additional information on horse housing, including cost, is available by calling 211.
Some counties are planning temporary emergency animal shelter facilities, but not all are in place and should only be used as a last resort. Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or veterinarian to get advice and information on boarding your pet. Many of these facilities require your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
There is an animal-friendly shelter at Cane Bay High, 1624 State Road, Summerville, SC. Animals must be caged.
Charleston County - Hurricane Matthew
Burns Elementary School, 3750 Dorchester Road in North Charleston, will accept pets. People interested in using the Burns Elementary pet shelter must bring vaccination records and supplies. Pets must be kept in carriers and stay with their owners.
Charleston Animal Society - Disaster Preparedness
Charleston County does not have any pet-friendly emergency shelters. Make plans now to include your pet in an evacuation!
The Spartanburg Expo Center at 6655 Pottery Road is open as an American Red Cross shelter for evacuees from Hurricane Matthew. Spartanburg Expo Center is the only Red Cross shelter that's currently open in the Upstate, and is available to any evacuee, regardless of where they're coming from, even from Georgia. The Spartanburg Expo Center shelter allows pets, but evacuees are encouraged to bring their pet cages when they come.
Bexar County - Planning for an Emergency
If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your pets may not be allowed inside. Secure appropriate lodging in advance depending on the number and type of animals in your care.
Even though pets and other animals are not allowed in public reception centers for public health reasons, help will be available to you at the Matagorda County Reception Center to care for your pet. And since there are few shelters that accept pets, it is important for you to make evacuation plans that include your pets as you put together your family plan.
Virginia - Pet Sheltering in an Emergency Evacuation
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management are working with communities across the Commonwealth to help ensure that evacuation and sheltering plans for both people and their pets are ready in the event of a disaster. Sheltering plans for people and their pets are being developed across the state to help ensure that no Virginian will have to choose between staying with their pets and evacuating to a safe shelter. These shelters, which may be at a college or university, a local school, fairgrounds or community center, will allow all member s of the family (including their pets) to be sheltered together or in close proximity to one another. Each pet shelter will have trained animal care personnel to assist in the care of your pets, but it will be your responsibility to walk, feed and care for your pets daily.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Arlington County’s Office of Emergency Management have included pets in their disaster plans with a 20-foot long trailer, stocked with everything needed to set up a temporary pet-friendly shelter in the event of an emergency, including animal crates, food and water dishes, litter pans, identification bands, pet food, and cleaning supplies.
In case of emergency two shelters can be designated as pet friendly.
Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team (H.E.A.R.T) and the American Red Cross are working to provide shelter for owners and their animals. In the event of a disaster, owners and their animals will be provided shelter. All companion animals must have current license, vaccinations, ID and rabies tags. They will need to be confined to pet carriers or crates and be under control at the facility at ALL times.
Wyoming - Pets and Disasters
Tips for keeping your pet safe during a disaster.