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Central Florida Wire | May 24, 2017

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Lake County Animal Shelter helps families become ‘pet prepared’ during emergencies

Lake County Animal Shelter helps families become ‘pet prepared’ during emergencies
Elisha Pappacoda

TAVARES — In recognition of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 13, the Lake County Animal Shelter is encouraging pet parents to consider their animals in their emergency planning.

“With hurricane season fast approaching, we would like to remind residents to have a plan for their pets, who sometimes become lost or separated during a disaster,” said Suzi Springsteen-Marks, Lake County Animal Shelter manager. “Rather than flood the shelter with lost pets following a crisis, it is our goal to keep families and their pets together during and after an emergency.”

The Lake County Animal Shelter, Lake County Emergency Management and Hill’s Pet Nutrition suggest families build a pet go-kit. This kit should include: basic first aid items, a three-day supply of bottled water and pet food in a waterproof container, a safety harness and leash, waste cleanup supplies, medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records, a list of veterinarians and local pet care organizations, information on the pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues, and comfort items such as a blanket or favorite toy. Pet owners may also consider displaying a pet rescue decal on front doors or windows to let first responders know there is a pet inside the house. Residents should also identify a location to take their pet if they must evacuate the area.

Residents should be aware that all Lake County primary and special needs emergency shelters are pet-friendly. Pets must be brought to shelters in a carrier that is marked with the owner’s name, address, and two phone numbers. Owners must have documentation of up-to-date rabies vaccinations for their pets, and owners are responsible for taking care of their pets.

To help ensure a pet’s safety during an emergency, it is important to have proper, up-to-date pet identification, such as a microchip or collar ID tag. Lake County requires pets to have a county tag proving they have had their rabies vaccination. To obtain a license, pet owners can visit their local veterinarian, the Lake County Animal Shelter located at 28123 County Road 561 in Tavares or www.PetData.com.

For more information about the Lake County Animal Shelter, to adopt or volunteer, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/LCAS or call 352-343-9688.

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