As you prepare your emergency and evacuation plans ahead of Hurricane Irma, don’t forget to plan for your fur babies.
Whether you stay or go, officials maintain your pets are safest with you. Animals should never be left chained outside.
A warning to pet owners. According to Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMA), most public shelters can’t accept pets due to health regulations. So, officials advise owners to take time to research pet-friendly shelters and hotels on their evacuation routes.
Other options recommended by GEMA include: creating a buddy system with neighbors; utilizing out-of-town friends and relatives; local animal hospitals or boarding facilities near your evacuation shelter.
Whether you’re traveling with pets or at home with pets, Georgia Department of Agriculture recommends preparing the following emergency supplies:
- Important documents
- Personal identification
- Flashlight and batteries
- 3 days of fresh water for you and your pet
- First aid supplies
- Pet Supplies: crate, food, microchip information, vet records and a current color photograph of you and your pet
- Fully charged cell phone
Other useful items officials recommend include a collar or harness with ID; rabies tag and a leash; a pet carrier or crate; litter or litter box.
A picture of you and your pet together is also an invaluable resource for owners trying to reunite with their animal, according to Ready.Georgia. Officials also recommend making sure your pet is microchipped and your contact information is up-to-date.
Georgia has not yet activated pet-friendly shelters as of Thursday at 1:15 p.m. but if activated, Department of Agriculture officials confirm shelters will require owners care for their own animals so plan your personal lodging nearby.
The following sites also maintain lists of animal-friendly travel options:
Here are a list of pet-friendly shelters, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture:
FVSU Safe Center, 55-399 Porter Lane, Fort Valley, GA 31030; opening 9/9/17; capacity for 80
cats, 130 dogs and 70 equine
Good Samaritan Shelter 500 Underwood Rd Milledgeville, GA 31061 at Freedom Church in
Baldwin County is pet friendly
Macon Market Pet Shelter 2055 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon, GA 310206; 3 cats, 11 dogs
PAWS HUMANE, INC. 4900 Milgen Rd, Columbus GA 31909; 7 dogs, 10 cats
Okefenokee Fairgrounds, 2451 Knight Avenue, Waycross, Georgia 31503; 18 cats, 237 dogs,
pigs, goats, and 3 donkeys
Peach County has a pet shelter located at The Pet Lodge, 5970 Peach Parkway, Fort Valley,
GA 31030; 12 dogs
Albany Humane Society; 1705 West Oakridge Dr, Albany, GA 31707 45 dogs from Camden
Tifton Animal Services; 278 Georgia HWY 125 S, Tifton, GA 31794 5 dogs
Warner Robins Shelter, 208 Stalnaker Avenue, Warner Robins, GA 31088; 8 dogs, 22 cats
Photos of Hurricane Irma damage and destruction
► TRACKING IRMA: Live updates and video
►CHECKLIST: Your hurricane season supply kit