This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on November 1, 2012.
Dog-friendly evacuation shelters are on the rise and thank goodness!
(Hope you had a Happy Halloween Snuffy, and were careful with knives!)
by Skye Anderson
Snuffy-the-dog, along with his owner, spent Sandy in our Howard County, Maryland, shelter at the Bain Center, though he was crated in a separate room from the dozen or so people also taking shelter there, according to Kevin Enright of the Howard County Government.
Fortunately, this was also the case in many localities up and down the East Coast: in Maryland, Anne Arundel county provided one pet friendly shelter; Baltimore City, 6; Baltimore County, 2; Montgomery County, 1; Prince George’s County, 1; Wicomico, 1; Worcester, 1; and Animal Control housed pets in Queen Anne’s County.
According to the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City's Animals, under New York City law, during times of evacuation, a cab driver may not turn down a fare who is bringing a pet along. In addition, an evacuation center must accept any pet as long as he/she is accompanied by a human and either leashed or in a carrier.
Bring your dog’s crate, plenty of dog food, two leashes, several days' worth of medications, medical and shot records (or your dog may have to be revaccinated), your identification and information for an alternate caregiver, a photo of your dog with your family, his tags, a dog first aid kit (to share), your veterinarian’s contact information, food and water bowls, toys, blankets, poop bags.
You may have to fill out paperwork so be sure to read it carefully, even the fine print. And if you sign anything, ask for a copy.
Most likely, the dogs will be housed in a separate room or location but you will probably be able to visit.
Be Considerate, Be thankful
Don’t expect to get your crate or dog bowls back but be pleasantly surprised if you do. Expect the dog food you bring to be mixed in with other dog food to make feeding easier and quicker for the staff.
And finally, your best friend may be cared for by volunteers or animal control/shelter employees who may not be getting paid. Thank them and then thank them again. Offer to help.
And last of all, relax - a little. Fido will be one less thing to worry about!
Oh, and, by the way, Snuffy, Zuma hopes you had a safe Halloween!