Preparing Your Pet for Hurricane Season
Plan with your pet in mind: if it’s not safe for you to stay, it’s not safe for your pet!
Leaving a pet behind in a disaster dramatically decreases its chance of survival. Decide on a course of action and make sure you can initiate it at a moment’s notice.
Suncoast Humane Society is NOT an option for boarding your pet during a disaster.
Sarasota and Charlotte County has designated a few pet friendly shelters (list below), however, they too will fill rapidly. Prepare in advance by identifying evacuation and shelter locations, make sure you know how to get there.
Make sure your pet is microchipped.
A lost pet can be scanned and returned to you as long as your information is recorded and up to date. You may have your pet microchipped at Suncoast Humane Society for a low fee; call 941-474-7884 to schedule an appointment.
If you choose not to evacuate…
Stay tuned to the news reports and have everything packed and ready in case you have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, wearing identification – make sure your pet is ready. Keep your pet’s food, water, and medical supplies in watertight containers. Stay calm – your pets can sense your emotions, so a calming demeanor can make your pet feel more at ease. Speak to your pet in a calm, soothing voice.
After the storm…
Following the storm animals may be very disoriented. Flooding, downed fences and power lines, will pose serious dangers to you and your pet. Keep your pet secure during this time. Do not allow them to roam loose. Do not allow them to consume food or water which may have become contaminated.
Your Pet Disaster Kit Should Include:
- Collar with tag(s) and a sturdy leash
- ID tags, rabies tag, microchip ID and company contact information
- Extra collars, harnesses and leashes
- Any pet medications (ask your vet about keeping extra supplies or medication, or a copy of prescriptions for these medications in your kit; be sure to replace medications before they expire)
- Medical records and current vaccinations (boarding facilities and public shelter will not admit animals without current vaccines)
- Current (less than a year old) photograph of each pet with owner to prove ownership if you are separated from your pet
- Secure carrier, or collapsible cage for large dogs, for each pet and bedding (carriers should be large enough for the animals to stand comfortably and turn around and house a litter box if appropriate; allow your pets to become familiar with their carriers ahead of time so they will feel secure and comfortable in case they need to live in them for several days or even weeks after a storm)
- Food (at least a 2-week supply), stored in watertight containers in a cool, dry place
- Water (at least a 2-week supply)
- Manual can opener
- Cat litter, liners and a pan
- Plastic trash bags to handle waste
- Newspaper, paper towels and disinfectant for clean-up
- Toys and any special comfort items that can fit in the crate with the animal
- Muzzle, if necessary (use extra precaution handling your pet, as in a disaster they may not act normally)
- Out of area contact name and phone number
Local Pet-Friendly Shelters
It is best to contact the shelter before leaving your house to know their pet requirements.
Atwater Elementary School – 4701 Hunsville Ave., North Port
Booker High School – 3201 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota
Brookside Middle School – 3636 S. Shade Ave., Sarasota
Fruitville Elementary School – 601 N. Honore Ave., Sarasota
Gulf Gate Elementary School – 6500 S. Lockwood Ridge Blvd., Sarasota
Heron Creek Middle School – 6501 W. Price Blvd., North Port
North Port High School – 6400 W. Price Blvd., North Port
Phillippi Shores Elementary – 4747 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota
Riverview High School – 1 Ram Way, Sarasota
Southside Elementary School – 1901 Webber St., Sarasota
Woodland Middle School – 2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port
Harold Avenue Regional Park– Recreation Center23400 Harold Ave, Port Charlotte
Kingsway Elementary School – 23300 Quasar Blvd., Port Charlotte
Liberty Elementary School – 370 Atwater St., Port Charlotte
Neil Armstrong Elementary – 22100 Breezeswept Ave., Port Charlotte
Packing for a Pet-Friendly Shelter
- Leash and collar with name tag and owner’s contact info
- 2-weeks worth of supply of food and water
- Your pet’s vaccination records & a current rabies vaccination tag
- Medications & written instructions for feeding & administering medication
- Kitty litter & an appropriate container
Printable Brochure and Disaster Kit Checklist