Pet Owners Urged to Compile Evacuation Kits

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The head of Los Angeles County's Animal Care and Control Department is urging pet owners to prepare an evacuation kit for their animals in case of an emergency.

In a blog, Marcia Mayeda noted that a recent series of massive brush fires in the state “underscore the importance of having an emergency plan that includes your pets.''

“Because many people must evacuate at a moment's notice, this plan should be completed and ready to implement immediately,'' she wrote.

Evacuation kits for dogs, cats and small companion animals should include:

-- five days of pet food;

-- collapsible food and water containers;

-- extra leashes and harnesses;

-- toys, blankets, treats and other items to comfort your pet in a strange environment;

-- a collapsible crate to safely confine your pet;

-- clear photographs of your pet, including full-body pictures from both sides and a close-up of their face;

-- copies of vaccination and pet licensing records;

-- microchip information, including the pet's microchip ID number and the issuing company;

-- a list of all medications taken by your pet, with a week's supply in the kit and a note of the diagnosis or reason the pet takes the medication in case someone else has to provide care for the pet; and

-- flea and tick medication.

Owners of horses and livestock are urged to take a series of measures, including:

-- have a list of all medications, special feed, medical issues or other needs your animals may have;

-- include copies of vaccinations, particularly for strangles, equine infectious anemia and West Nile virus for horses;

-- have clear photos of animals -- both full-body photos from both sides along with any brands, ear tags, ear notches or other identifying information;

-- bring fly masks, fly sheets, halters, lead ropes and other items for your animals' comfort;

-- ensure your horses or other livestock will quickly and obediently load;

-- make sure your trailer is safe and functional and perform a complete safety check on the vehicle;

-- microchip livestock and keep the microchip records up to date, with copies in the evacuation kit; and

-- write phone number on the horses' hooves or attach an equine-specific safety band with identifying information.

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