Protect your pet in a disaster

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 16, 2015 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Protect your pet in a disaster

Disasters can strike
at any time and without warning. If disaster were to strike
today, would you have a plan to save you and your

As the fourth anniversary of the
Christchurch Earthquake (22 February 2011) sadly approaches
World Animal Protection is urging New Zealand pet owners to
plan for their pets in a disaster now; with the launch of a
new free online resource:

visiting the website, New Zealand pet owners can download
their free Disaster Planning Pack, with simple and practical
advice to help them plan for their pet – whether they have
dogs, cats, small animals (rats, mice and guinea pigs),
rabbits, fish, birds, horses or Assistance/Guide Dogs.

For more than 50 years World Animal Protection has been
protecting animals from disasters. Whilst working with
communities, individuals and governments around the world to
help their animals, the charity has seen many people put
themselves at risk by refusing to evacuate without their
animals. Disaster plans for animals can save not only the
lives of animals but also the lives of pet owners.

“Pets are part of our family in New Zealand, just like
animals are part of families and communities around the
world. That’s why it’s so important to make a plan to
protect your pet. Disasters can and do happen in New
Zealand, but with a pet plan you will know what to do;
saving time and saving the life of your entire family,”
says Bridget Vercoe, New Zealand Country Director at World
Animal Protection.

Hurricane Katrina’ (U.S
2005) for example is a real live case of rescue efforts
being severely disrupted due to flood victims having no plan
for their family pets. Flood-trapped victims refused to
leave their pets behind, risking both human and animal life,
on an enormous scale.

“Pet owners in New Zealand
have a legal responsibility to keep their animals safe in a
disaster. helps you to do
just that. Please prepare for you and your pet in a disaster
now and ensure your family is protected,” Ms Vercoe

The free online resource, has been
developed by World Animal Protection in conjunction with the
Ministry for Civil Defence Emergency Management, Ministry
for Primary Industries, Royal New Zealand Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, New Zealand Veterinary
Association and other agencies in the National Animal
Welfare Emergency Management Advisory Group (NAWEM)*.

Jenny-May Coffin, former Silver Fern and TVNZ
journalist, has also lent her support creating a disaster
plan with her family, for their dog ‘Jay’ – to show
Kiwis just how easy it is.

“The advice found on
the website to help us protect Jay and our family in a
disaster was simple but invaluable. We had a quick chat
around a bowl of soup and decided on a few important things
– like places we could evacuate to where Jay is welcome and
how we could keep him calm with items like his lead and his
favourite blanket. By having a quick think now, we feel in a
much better position to protect ‘our boy’ Jay and
ourselves should a disaster happen.”

The New
Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) is helping to promote
the resource. Dr Cath Watson, NZVA Companion Animal Society
Branch President says “the Protect your Pet initiative
provides the resources and planning needed to help ensure
responsible pet ownership in an emergency. We urge every pet
owner in the country to download a disaster pack and make a
plan today; before it’s too late.”


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