HSUS Offers Tips For Helping Animals During Flooding Conditions

As Hurricane Georges brings heavy rain to Florida, Alabama and Louisiana, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, reminds anyone in potential flood situations that any animal can be affected by high waters, including pets, farm animals and wildlife. The HSUS offers these basic tips for people with pets or farm animals or for people who encounter wildlife.


  • If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you. Do not tie your pet outside and don't leave your pet alone in your house. Abandoning pets puts their lives at risk.
  • Make sure your pets have collars and tags with your name and phone number, as well as a phone number where messages can be left until you return home. Make sure collars and tags are securely fastened. Tags are a lost pet's ticket home.
  • Pack a pet emergency kit. Include food, bowls, bottled water, litter/pans, medications, leashes, carriers and health certificates.


  • Evacuate animals whenever 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.
  • Trucks, trailers and other vehicles suitable for transporting farm animals should be available along with experienced animal handlers and drivers to transport the animals. Whenever possible, the animals should become accustomed to these vehicles in advance so they are less frightened and easier to move.
  • At evacuation sites, farm animal owners should have, or be able to readily obtain, food, water, veterinary care, handling equipment and generators if necessary.
  • If farm animals cannot be evacuated, there are many on-farm precautions that can be taken. For more information contact the State Department of Agriculture.


  • During flood conditions wild animals often seek higher ground. If unsubmerged land areas or island are large enough and provide suitable shelter, you can leave food appropriate to the species.
  • Wildlife may also seek refuge from flood waters on upper levels of a home and may remain inside even after the water recedes. Open a window or other escape route and the animal will probably leave on its own. Never attempt to capture a wild animal. If you see an injured or stranded animal in need of assistance, or you need help evicting an animal from your home, please contact your local animal control office or animal shelter.

An emergency plan that includes pets and farm animals should contain a list of phone numbers for local agencies that can assist during disasters -- including your veterinarian, state veterinarian, local animal shelter, animal care and control, county extension service, State Department of Agriculture and the American Red Cross. These numbers should be kept secure and accessible.

The HSUS is recognized by the American Red Cross as an organization responsible for the safety and well-being of animals, including disaster relief. For more information about animals and disaster relief, see HSUS Disaster Services, or obtain the brochure, "Pets and Disasters: Get Prepared," free of charge by sending a business-size self-addressed, stamped envelope to The HSUS Disaster Services, 2100 L St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.

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