Information provided by Karen Lee Stevens, founder of ALL FOR ANIMALS
It is difficult for us to comprehend the recent terrorist attacks on the United States and to think of the thousands of lives lost and those that have been forever changed by this terrible tragedy.
In any type of disaster, whether natural or manmade, the magnitude of human suffering is incomprehensible to us. In the days and weeks that follow, we are struck by the fragility of all life. Once we begin to clear through the rubble and to pick up the pieces of our lives, thoughts begin to turn to the frequently forgotten victims — the animals.
The attack on the World Trade Center was not in a residential location, so it is doubtful that any animal lives were lost. However, there may be hundreds, if not thousands of animals who have been left to wait patiently at home for those they love; alone, hungry, and certainly afraid.
If an emergency were to strike, your best source of defense is to BE PREPARED.
Make arrangements with a family member, a friend, or a neighbor who will take in your pet if you are unable to return home. Give them a key to your home or let them know where you have a spare key hidden.
Type or print up an “Emergency Care of Companion Animals” card and place it in a prominent place in your wallet. The card should state the number and type of pets in your home and who should be contacted in the event you are injured or hospitalized and cannot return home.
If you are at home when a disaster happens and you must evacuate, never leave your animals behind! Make arrangements to take them to a family member, a veterinary office, an animal shelter, or ideally, to stay with you.
Make sure your pets are wearing a collar and tag with your name and phone number.
Have a supply of their food (and water) on hand as well as any medication they may be taking.
Keep handy a cat carrier (one for each cat or other small animal you have) as well as a leash (one for each dog you have).
By taking these simple, preventative measures, you will have peace of mind that your pets will be taken care of in case of disaster.
And don’t forget, companion animals have an enormous power to comfort us during difficult times, whether it’s an earthquake, a fire, a death of a loved one, or even a terrorist attack. Stroking your cat or other small pet or taking your dog for a walk can help lower your blood pressure and bring a sense of normalcy back to the otherwise chaotic situation occurring in your life.