Group Warns Against Leaving Animals Behind to Fend for Themselves or Outside in Poor Air Quality
For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2017
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
St. George, Ga. – As you cover the West Mims Fire, please include these important tips for ensuring the safety of animal companions should additional residences be threatened and more evacuations be ordered. The following information could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds, and other animals who need to be included in evacuation plans:
- In the event that your area is evacuated, never leave companion animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.
- Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims often don’t allow animals, but motels in the area may accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.
- Never leave animals unsupervised in a car—they can panic and try to escape or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.
- Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed with harnesses, because frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt and strangle. Take water and food bowls, your animal’s favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least one week.
- Residents in areas affected by smoke and falling ash should make sure that animals are kept indoors and avoid all outside activities, such as running with dogs. If visibility is less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke has compromised the air quality and reached levels that are dangerous for everyone.
For additional disaster-preparedness tips and to view or request a copy of PETA’s wildfire public service announcement (PSA) featuring Ali MacGraw, please click here or here (for online). MacGraw—whose many film credits include Love Story and The Getaway—has been the victim of a wildfire herself. She lost everything in a California wildfire in the 1990s. In the PSA, she makes a heartfelt plea for residents to include their animal family members in their evacuation plans. For more information, please visit PETA.org.