Today, we would like to take this opportunity to discuss something very near and dear to our hearts: pet safety.
Last Tuesday, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago responded to a fire in the city of Chicago.
The client was sitting in the back of a police car because he had fled his home without shoes, but that was not his only concern: he had also left without his cats.
I, Lily, sat in the back of the car with him and tried to explain to him what assistance the Red Cross provides. He cut me off, only to ask if I could inquire about his cats. Having a cat myself, I could understand his anxiety and set off to find any information I could about his cats.
Several firemen told me that they had not seen any animals, but would continue looking. The police officer (who’s car we were sitting in) even offered to go look around the house with some treats after the fire department had gone – the client, however, knew that with the extensive damage to his home, the possibility of finding all three of his cats alive and well was not good.
It breaks down what to do before, during and after a disaster in regards to your beloved animals. Here are a couple highlights:
Have a current photograph.
Plan your evacuation strategy and don’t forget your pet!
Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis.
As much as you love them, DO NOT reenter a home during a disaster to attempt a rescue. Instead, notify the firemen of the animal and let them go in after him/her.
Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home.
If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office.
Also, the American Red Cross organizes classes that teach both Dog and Cat first-aid.
Links for these classes in Chicago can be found at http://www.chicagoredcross.org/ by browsing through the Traditional Course list.
Finally, the ASPCA (www.aspca.org
) can provide you with a pet safety sticker which you can put on your house to alert the firemen of the type/number of animals you have in the home.
– Lily and Sam……. and Macchiato