Pet Preparedness : Supporting Our Shelters, 2 of 2
This week as part of Pet Preparedness Month, we spoke with the Humane Society of St. Thomas about their hurricane preparedness plans, particular seasonal needs, and tips for pet owners trying to keep their pets safe and comfortable during a storm. Read on for their great advice and to learn how you can help!
- What does the shelter do to prepare for hurricanes?
The Humane Society of St. Thomas staff are equipped with curfew passes to ensure that all the animals still receive the care they need. Outdoor tents come down pre-storm, windows are boarded up, and the team ensures there is ample food and water supply for the animals. The team also moves animals to safe spaces inside the shelter to ensure no one is left out in the elements.
- How can residents help make sure that more animals don’t end up in shelters following a storm? How can people keep their pets safe during a storm?
Having pets microchipped and tagged is a huge help. If they do end up at the shelter, reunification is that much easier with microchips and tags, especially since the staff can simply call the owner to notify them. Canines Cats & Critters personalizes tags, as does VIP Pet Supply.
The Shelter Operations Chair outlined the top 10 items you should include in your pet preparedness kit:
- Food: At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water: At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records: Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current in case of emergency.
- Important documents: Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- First aid kit: Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
- Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
- Crate or pet carrier: Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation: Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together: If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar items such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
- Does the shelter need more fosters for the animals if a storm is coming?
Yes they do! Especially if they have animals that need more attention, such as bottle fed or medical case fosters. The shelter always needs foster parents, especially as hurricane season coincides with kitten season, and they are currently severely overcapacity. The larger dogs are the hardest to place. Anyone interested in fostering can email the front desk, firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the foster form online (https://forms.gle/4yytiJBmAuD2Jxb18) to help. Humane Society of St. Thomas will also most likely post a plea for fosters on social media prior to any incoming storm.
Two of the larger dogs who are available for foster or adoption are Moxie and Abu:
Moxie is a 2 year old female Retriever / Basset Hound mix. She is 48 pounds, HW-, and such a lover! Moxie loves to love and will kiss you at any chance she can get!
Abu – The sweetest big boy! 55 pounds, about 4-5 years old. HW+, Abu is dog friendly, very calm, good on leash, and would love another dog friend around!
- Does the shelter have any specific needs to be prepared for this hurricane season?
Right now overpopulation is a huge issue. Just this month, Humane Society of St. Thomas has had 31 cats and 23 dogs come in. That number will likely only continue to go up. HSSTT is not a no kill and is severely over capacity. Transports by the Pets with Wings program and our partner rescues are wonderful but only provide temporary relief. The shelter has a new program thanks to many generous donors, especially Kym and Glenn Verette, which is providing free spay and neuter vouchers. These vouchers are valid for 30 days (you must book the appointment within the 30 days) and provide free spay and neuter services, redeemable at any vet clinic on St Thomas.
Additional Resources :
To support Humane Society of St. Thomas, donate at: https://www.classy.org/give/212529/#!/donation/checkout
To support Love City Strong’s preparedness efforts, you can donate through our website, www.lovecitystrongvi.org.