Washoe County Regional Animal Services Shelter
Washoe County Regional Animal Services Shelter
County Home => Animal Services => Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Disaster Preps for Pets and their Families

Planning ahead saves lives!

Pets may not be allowed inside emergency shelters so determine the best place to leave your pet in case of a disaster. Identify an off-site location, as well as a safe area in your home.

Dogs and cats should always wear properly fitting collars with current I.D., rabies, license or microchip information tags. Keep current photos of each pet.

Prepare an emergency supply kit in advance. Suggested items include.

First aid kit
• Portable radio, flashlight & extra batteries
• Vaccination records
• Veterinarian’s information
• Medications & dosage instructions
• Pet carriers, cages
• Leashes/non-nylon halters/leads or rope
• 2 weeks supply of food/water
• Can opener
• Non-spill food/water bowls
• Cat litter & box
• Newspaper/paper towels
• Plastic bags
• Duct tape
• Permanent marker
• Bleach/disinfectant solution
• Water buckets

Store health records and other important documents in a zip-lock or waterproof plastic bag. Make sure they are current on all vaccinations as you will need to show proof of vaccinations if you must board your animals and you will need proof of ownership to retrieve your pet from a shelter.

Make arrangements with a trusted neighbor to check on your animals in case you are not home when disaster strikes, Exchange veterinary information and file a permission slip with your veterinarian authorizing them to get emergency treatment for your pet if you can’t be located.

What to do During, and After Disaster Strikes

Take your animals with you if you can! Take your “disaster preparedness kit”, vaccination records, photographs, etc. with you.

If you can’t take your animals with you.  

  • Do not leave pets chained outdoors.
  • Bring your pets indoors and confine to a safe room with no windows but adequate ventilation.
  • Leave only dry-type foods in non-spill containers (NO treats or vitamins).
  • Leave water in bathtubs or other non-spill containers.

Do not leave cats and dogs together even if they normally get along.
Confine and keep small pets, such as birds and hamsters, away from cats and dogs.
Leave livestock in the preselected area appropriate for the disaster type with enough hay and water for a minimum of 48 to 72 hours.

Use Caution.

Pet behavior may change after an emergency. Monitor your animals closely and keep them confined. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered, causing confusion and abnormal behavior.

Be aware of downed power lines, fallen trees, debris, and local wildlife.

Lost and Found.

If you’ve lost an animal, contact animal services, humane society, veterinarians, boarding facilities and neighbors. Visit the animal shelter daily and check Petharbor.com on a regular basis.

Listen to the news and other emergency information services to find out which groups are accepting lost animals.

If you find someone else’s animal, call animal services

Always use caution when approaching and handling strange or frightened animals and keep the stray isolated until it is returned to its owner, or can be examined by a veterinarian.

Animal Rescue Team Volunteers

When animals are threatened as part of a natural disaster or other emergency, a team of well-trained, knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers from the Animal Rescue Team work side-by-side with Animal Control Officers to help with the evacuation and care of animals that are in the path of danger.

The Animal Rescue Team is a joint effort between Washoe County Regional Animal Services and the Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers are all trained members of the Sheriff’s Office Community Emergency Response Team who have undergone additional training to work with animals during an emergency situation.

For more information, visit http://www.washoesheriff.com/