Pet emergency plan

Always ensure:

  • Your pet has access to plenty of food and fresh water.
  • Your pet has shelter and bedding.
  • All animals under your care can be properly and easily identified.
  • You have telephone numbers for your veterinarian or animal welfare agency included in your household emergency kit.
  • You never leave an animal tied-up or chained without shelter and bedding.
  • You never leave an animal in a motor vehicle.

The Pet Emergency Plan is for your household pets

If you have more than 2 pets, or are looking after your neighbours' pets, complete a second plan.

Pets are special

Check with your local council and other agencies on possible hazards, local emergency plans and what arrangements are in place regarding temporary animal shelters during times of major emergencies or disasters.

You may have to move your animals first, for safety. It may not be possible to take your pet with you to a temporary evacuation shelter—plan ahead and be prepared.

Trained assistance dogs

In most cases, trained assistance dogs will be allowed to stay in emergency shelters with their owners. Those that are accepted may require proper identification and proof of vaccination.

Check with your local council for more information.

Be prepared

Individual needs will vary and you will need to decide on the best plan for your circumstances and region.

  • Secure animals inside before an emergency event, so they do not take flight or run away.
  • Use a secure pet carrier/cage, leash or harness to transport animals to safety.
  • Ensure all vaccinations remain current.
  • It may be possible for your pet to be boarded in a safe environment away from the emergency zone.
  • If you are able to house your animal in a temporary foster home, ensure your pet's medical and feeding information, food, medicine and other supplies accompany them.
  • Ensure all pets are properly identified. Remember: during times of disaster, telephones may not be available and it is important any registered method includes your current address.
  • Have a current photograph. This may assist in identifying you as the legal owner.

Pet emergency kit

Ensure your pet emergency kit is easily accessible and includes:

  • Medications (for up to two weeks), medical and vaccination records and veterinarian details.
  • Sufficient food (including treats) and bottled water for each animal, for up to two weeks. Don't forget the can opener if you have tinned food.
  • A familiar pet blanket or bedding, toys, grooming equipment.
  • A secure pet carrier, leas or harness to move any animals to safety.
  • Consider your animal's sanitation needs—important for their (and your) health—such as newspaper, paper towels, disinfectant, rubbish bags.
  • Birds must eat daily—put special food and water dispensers in bird cages and have a cover for the cage.
  • Details of identification methods.
  • A current photograph of each pet for identification, phone numbers, such as: veterinarian, pet information and advisory services. Complete these on the home emergency plan.

My pet is not a cat or a dog ...

The suggested information on this fact sheet can be generally applied to household pet emergency planning.

Although most household companion pets are cats, dogs and birds, this is not always the case.

Should your companion pet/s be different—such as aquarium fish, reptiles, small livestock (pigs, fowls, goats, horses, cattle, sheep)—you may have to make special arrangements in advance of any emergency situation.

Contact specialised agencies, such as Queensland Primary Industry and Fisheries (livestock), the RSPCA, or your local pet shop or animal's veterinarian for specialised advice in planning for emergencies.