Kentish Council acknowledges and supports the following PET PAL information as being produced by the Launceston City Council
When disaster strikes and pet owners evacuate their properties in a hurry, pets and animals sometimes have to be left behind and this causes a great deal of distress and anguish to their owners.
It's important that everyone with pets and animals has a basic plan in place to protect them during an emergency. Talk to all members of your family so everyone understands what to do should a bushfire threaten your property. Do this well before there is any fire threat.
Evacuating your pets and animals early to a place of safety offers both them and you, the best chance of protection and safety. Don't leave it until it's too late, otherwise it may not be possible for you to move your animals to a safe location - plan ahead and be prepared! Your animals will be very aware of your level of anxiety. Plan to relocate them early - especially if there is an extreme fire risk.
PET PAL is a friend or relative where you could take your pet(s) during an emergency situation. Maybe they could also help to accommodate you and your family in the short term if you were affected by an emergency event. Offer to return the favour by being their PET PAL too!
Talk to your PET PAL about your evacuation plans - will you stay or go? Show them where you keep your Pet Emergency Kit. Identify specific locations away from your immediate area where you can meet in an emergency. Display your PET PAL details somewhere the whole family can see them. Keep your Pet Emergency Kit ready alongside your own Emergency Kit.
Have an Emergency Kit ready for your pets. Items your kit could include:
Council is responsible for running evacuation centres for people displaced from their homes during emergency situations. Councils can also accommodate pets during disasters but sometimes the facilities available may not be ideal. It's also important to realise that animals will not be allowed inside evacuation centres. Dealing with emergencies place a great deal of stress on families and individuals, wouldn't it be great to have one less thing to worry about knowing your pet was somewhere safe and secure with someone you know, rather than in an unfamiliar and stressful environment.
One of the first things you should do is to confine your small animals before it becomes difficult to find/catch them if the situation becomes worse. It's a great idea to have all your cats and dogs micro-chipped in case they become lost during the fire risk period.
Make plans with your friends, family or organisations (e.g. Pony Club, Dog Clubs) on where you can take your animals to - preferably at the first warning of e.g. an extreme fire risk. Ensure you have pet containers for all your small animals (dogs, cats, birds, rabbits etc).
For larger domestic animals - horses, sheep, goats, alpacas, cattle, pigs - if you have decided not to evacuate them, move them to a bare paddock with water and room to move. Whether you decide to stay or leave yourself, don't shut your animals in sheds or stables, or tether them, as this won't give them a chance to save themselves.
Ensure that all your animals have identification - ID tags securely attached to collars or pet carriers, a sticker folded into the hair on a tail or mane with your contact details is a good idea in case they get loose. Writing your name and phone number on your horses' hooves with permanent marker, is a great idea. Be wary of leaving any gear on your animals i.e. rugs, head collars etc. Some of this gear may be flammable and any metal could get very hot and cause extensive burns.
Never let your livestock loose on public roads - they run a very high risk of causing an accident and being severely injured. It’s a great idea to have a current photo of your pet with you, or one you can easily access i.e. on a smartphone.
For some great information on how to plan for your livestock and pets in an emergency visit the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.