Humane Society Urges Flood Preparation For Animal Owners

As different areas of the country prepare for spring floods, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) urges pet owners and farmers to be prepared.

"Many people mistakenly leave their companion animals behind when they evacuate during an emergency, thinking their pets' instincts will prevent them from being harmed," says David Pauli, director of The HSUS' Northern Rockies Regional Office. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Companion animals depend on us for their survival, much as children do."

Each year, scores of farm animals fall victim to natural disasters. Following are tips for farm owners:

  • Evacuate animals at soon as possible. Arrangements for evacuation, including routes and host sites should be made in advance. Alternate routes should be mapped out in case the planned route becomes inaccessible.
  • Have vehicles for moving farm animals and experienced animal handlers and drivers available.
  • At evacuation sites, have food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment available.
  • If evacuation is impossible, leave animals on higher ground. Contact your state Department of Agriculture or county extension service, which may be able to provide on-farm oversight for any animals left behind.

Additional information on disaster preparedness for farmers and people with pets can be obtained free of charge from The HSUS Disaster Services, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 or on the Internet at

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