Pets, Service Animals, Livestock and Equines

In the event of disasters, you need to take steps to not only protect yourself but your pets and livestock as well. Provided below is helpful information to help you to protect your pets, service animals, and livestock.

Preparedness for Pets

If you need to evacuate, take your animals with you and/or plan ahead to have your livestock moved to safer ground. Please use the Animal Evacuation Kit as a resource.

To determine the locations of established pet shelters and/or pet friendly shelters, listen for announcements on your local radio stations or monitor your town website. The radio may repeat instructions regarding evacuation sites, locations of roadblocks, and a phone number or email address to ask for help. You can also monitor the town website and local TV stations. In some areas, you can sign up for a service that will send a text message to your cell phone during emergencies.

Companion Pets - Plan ahead to bring them with you. It is simply too dangerous to leave companion animals unattended during natural disasters. The best way to ensure the safety of your pets is to evacuate with them.

Best evacuation options are to make plans to re-locate with friends, relatives or pet friendly hotels in safe areas away from the disaster. Also check boarding kennels or humane societies, stables or racetracks, or private farms outside your immediate area can shelter your animals in the event of a disaster. Also, make arrangements with trustworthy neighbors for pet and livestock care if a disaster strikes and you cannot get home in time to evacuate. This person should have access to your animals and be familiar with them.

Sheltering with your Pet

If you must use an evacuation shelter, listen for information regarding co-located animal shelters. You must stay at the human shelter to be allowed to shelter your pet(s) at the co-located animal shelter.

You will not be allowed to keep you companions in the actual human shelter unless they are service animals. The Red Cross does not allow pets in their shelters.

You must have a pet carrier, leash or halter/lead, litter pan, food and water bowls, medications, medical records, identification papers, a supply of food and some bottled water, etc., for each animal. Always keep them together in an easily reached place. Include photos of yourself with each animal to aid in identification later should you get separated.

Sheltering with Service Animals

If you have a service animal, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law and Red Cross policy support keeping that animal with you during evacuation and sheltering. However, you should keep the official paperwork documenting service animal status available to show to officials during the disaster.

Tune in to local radio and television stations for evacuation sites to determine the locations of established pet shelters and/or pet friendly shelters, listen for announcements on your local radio stations or monitor your town website. The radio may repeat instructions regarding evacuation sites, locations of roadblocks, and a phone number or email address to ask for help. You can also monitor the town website and local TV stations. In some areas, you can sign up for a service that will send a text message to your cell phone during emergencies.

Planning Ahead to Safeguard Your Livestock and Equines

Preparing for equine evacuations can be crucial to the survival of horses.

Plan ahead, when announcements are made to evacuate, take the threat seriously. You need to make the decision to leave as soon as you can.

Make sure equine trailers are road-worthy before hurricane season begins or identify someone with reliable trucks and trailers who can transport horses.

Ensure that your horses are comfortable with loading. Working with your horses ahead of time is particularly important if a neighbor or friend will be transporting your horse because ill-behaved horses can waste valuable evacuation time or refusal of transport.

Fill up on gas or diesel before entering traffic. Evacuation traffic is often slow and crowded, creating a dangerous situation for trailered horses. Animals might overheat or become dehydrated should you run out of fuel.

Have a plan as to where you might move your horse(s). Be familiar with locations of farms willing to accommodate your horse(s).

Large Animal Sheltering in Place

If you cannot evacuate your horse, or are forced to leave part of your livestock or herd behind, there are also some precautions that can help you reunite with your horse or other livestock. Keeping photographs can help, but also attaching identification information to the animal’s body can be useful.

Braiding information wrapped in plastic to horse’s manes and tails can help. Livestock paint works well to put identification information on the body, and it’s waterproof. Or even taking a pair of clippers and shaving your contact information into the animal’s hair can help you reunite with your horse or livestock when you return.

If you must evacuate, review your property for the safest place for the animals and what provisions must be left for them while you are gone. Visit this webpage for detailed information.

Pet, Service Animal and Livestock Resources

Helpful links and documents

Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospitals in Greater New Haven

The facilities noted below expect to stay open for medical emergencies during and after storms and have generators:

Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine
4 Devine Street
North Haven, CT 06473
203-865-0878

VCA Cheshire Animal Hospital
1572 N. Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
203-272-3266

Find Pet Friendly Hotels in Connecticut