Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center Recommends Pet Owners Make Disaster Preparation for Pets

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Veterinarians recommend that pet owners prepare for what to do with pets before a disaster or emergency strikes.

With hurricane Isaac bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, the Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (CVESC) ( reminds pet owners to have a disaster preparedness plan for their pets. While hurricanes are not a threat in the Midwest, tornadoes, floods, fires and blizzards can present a danger to people and their pets.

“Having a plan can help protect pets in the event of a disaster,” said Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian for Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. “Pet owners should be prepared with up to a week of supplies and an evacuation plan for their pets in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Veterinary Medical Association and other pet-focused organizations call for pet owners to have an emergency kit for pets that includes:

In airtight containers, at least three days supply of each pet’s:

  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Bottled water

Also in an airtight container:

  • Copies of each pet’s registration or adoption papers
  • Medical records including a health certificate
  • Medications
  • Photos of the pet and of the pet with its owner to help with identification and to establish ownership
  • A first aid kit including cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves; isopropyl alcohol; saline solution and a pet first aid reference book.

Pet owners should also have:

  • A pet carrier that the pet is familiar with to be used in the event evacuation is necessary
  • Extra leashes, bowls and a can opener
  • Pet litter and litter box, newspapers, plastic bags, bleach and other sanitation related items as appropriate
  • If feasible, some of the pet’s favorite toys, bedding and treats to help reduce the stress.

“In making preparations, pet owners should explore options for where to go if they need to evacuate their home as many emergency shelters do not allow pets,” said Dr. Klein.
“Be aware of available options for evacuation prior to an emergency, including identifying pet-friendly hotels or motels; boarding facilities; veterinary hospitals; and family or friends that would temporarily board the pet.”

Pet owners are encouraged to make plans with friends, neighbors and relatives to evacuate your pets from your home if you are unable to do so. Make certain they know where your pet’s emergency supply kit is.

“Pet owners should be sure to talk with their primary care veterinarian about a microchip and data base registration for their pets,” according to Dr. Klein. “Even without a disaster, we regularly get calls from pet owners looking for a lost pet that has no identification. A pet with a microchip that is properly enrolled in a recovery database is much more easily reunited with its owner.”

Dr. Klein also pointed out that, “The emergency kit is a great resource for pet owners that travel with their pets. All of these items are just what is needed whenever your pet is away from your home.”

September is National Preparedness Month. People are encouraged to learn about potential hazards and make plans for themselves and for their pets in the event of an emergency or disaster. Proper preparation can help reduce the risk and anxiety for pets and their people.

Media Availability: Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center will make every effort to provide credentialed members of the media access to a staff veterinarian for interviews and to our facility to shoot background footage. To arrange an interview or to shoot footage at the facility, please contact Virginia Mann, 312-420-3344 or Virginia(at)VirginiaMann(dot)com

About Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center
Chicago’s oldest and largest pet emergency center, the Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center (CVESC) today provides the most advanced emergency, critical and specialty care available to cats and dogs. Each year, CVESC treats more than 11,000 dogs and cats in its emergency room and thousands more see their veterinary specialists.

Staffed by highly-trained specialists and equipped with the latest technology, Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center is always open – 24 hours each day, every day of the year. In addition to emergency veterinarians and staff, CVESC has board-certified veterinarians who specialize in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery to treat pets with special medical or emergency needs. This state-of-the-art facility includes ultrasound and MRI equipment, specialized surgical suites, a blood bank, specialized oxygen cages, heart monitors and more. CVESC has been providing care for Chicago-area pets when they need it most for more than 30 years.

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