PETA Pleads: Please Do Not Leave Any Animals Behind During Hurricane Irma

Group Warns Against Leaving Animals to Fend for Themselves

For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2017

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Beaufort County, S.C. – Because Gov. Henry McMaster announced that evacuations might be ordered as Hurricane Irma hurtles toward the coast, PETA is offering vital advice to help ensure the safety of animals now and for the rest of the hurricane season. The following information could save the lives of cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals who need to be included in disaster-preparedness plans:

  • Keep animals indoors with you if you choose not to evacuate. Never leave them chained or penned outside. This includes rabbits, birds, lizards, dogs, cats, or any other animals who can be taken
  • If you evacuate, do not leave animals behind, where they could drown or be killed by falling debris, collapsing roofs, etc. Plan your destination. Do not leave animals unsupervised in a car—they could suffer from heatstroke once the ambient temperature rises above 70 degrees, and the car could even be overturned or crushed during a significant storm.
  • Although emergency shelters sometimes turn animals away, some hotels and many motels may be willing to accept small animals in an emergency. Transport them in secure carriers and keep larger dogs leashed or harnessed, as frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings can cause them to bolt. Take along water and food bowls, a favorite toy, a blanket, a towel, and enough food for a week.
  • Be prepared by having your animals microchipped and putting secure, legible ID tags on them.
  • Watch for other animals in trouble, including absent neighbors’ animals and others who may have gotten loose or been left behind. If you see any animals in distress and cannot help, note their location and call authorities for help immediately.

PETA asks that you consider sharing our hurricane-preparedness public service announcement on your website. It will remind families to make plans to ensure the safety of their animal companions long before evacuating. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind