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Planning for Your Pets

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Before the Hurricane Season

  • Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations.  Shelters and kennels typically require proof of vaccines.
  • Have a current photograph of your pet.
  • Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash to control your pet.
  • If you plan to board or shelter your pet, work this into your evacuation route planning.
  • If you live in an evacuation zone, pre-plan your evacuation and evacuate early as pet-friendly hotels and motels fill quickly.
  • There is just one pet-friendly shelter in Broward County – it is open only to individuals living in evacuation zones and/or any mobile home in Broward County and you must pregister.
  • Prepare Pet Survival Kit for each pet.

Pet Survival Kit

  • A crate or carrier large enough for the animal to stand and turn around. Help your pet adjust to the carrier before the storm by placing it in the carrier along with a treat or toy. Start with short periods of time; then slowly increase the time.
  • Leashes
  • Two-week supply of food (moist or canned) with manual can opener
  • Water
  • Water and food dishes
  • Cat litter and litter pan
  • Toys and/or blanket
  • Treats
  • Emergency phone numbers for veterinarian, animal shelters and friends/relatives
  • Photo of the pet with you (to prove you are the owner)
  • Veterinary records with rabies certificate and current license tag number
  • Medications with instructions
  • Cleaning supplies (newspaper, plastic bags with ties, paper towels, disinfectant)

Store all items in containers that are easy to transport and won't easily tear or break. DO not use plastic or paper bags or pillow cases. Use waterproof containers to store items that would be damaged if wet.

During the Storm

Household Pets – Residents Remaining at Home Through the Storm

  • Bring all pets indoors.
  • Keep a supply of newspapers in the bathroom, utility room or enclosed garage for the pet's sanitary needs.
  • Feed pets moist or canned food to preserve water.
  • Keep pets within sight since the noise of the storm can be frightening to them.
  • Never tranquilize your pet. They need their survival instincts.

Household Pets – Residents in an Evacuation Zone

  • Be sure your pet is wearing its current County animal license tag.
  • Attach the phone number of a family member or friend not in the evacuation zone to your pet’s collar.
  • Evacuate as early as possible.

Evacuation Options for You and Your Pet

  • Stay with relatives or friends who do not have to evacuate.
  • Evacuate to a pet-friendly hotel or motel. Make reservations early. For a listing of pet-friendly hotels/motels call Broward County Animal Care at 954-359-1313, Ext. 227 also visit
  • Board your pet at a private kennel located out of the evacuation zone. Make reservations early.
  • Evacuate to a pet-friendly hurricane shelter. Because of limited space, this is an option of last resort. There is only one pet-friendly shelter in Broward County.  It is open only to individuals living in evacuation zones and mobile homes in Broward County. Contact the Humane Society at 954-989-3977or visit for more information and details about how to pre-register your pet for the pet-friendly shelter.

After the Storm

  • Use caution allowing pets outdoors after the storm passes. Leash dogs and keep cats in a carrier.
  • Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home. Often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. 
  • After a disaster, animals may become aggressive or defensive - monitor their behavior.
  • Animals should not be allowed to consumer food or water which may have become contaminated. If you won't drink it, your pet shouldn't either.
  • Animal Care officers and citizens will bring many lost cats and dogs to shelters after the hurricane. If your pet has identification such as a license tag, tattoo or microchip, Animal Care will call you if the phones are operating. If your pet has no identification or you cannot be reached, you will need to visit one of the Animal Care shelters. Make sure you call Animal Care first at 954-359-1313 for post-hurricane operating hours and information.

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