In the event of a disaster or evacuation, your pet may be displaced. Having a plan in place beforehand can greatly reduce the stress of an emergency situation. Be sure to consult your vet when developing an emergency plan and first aid kit for your pet (PDF).
Cats and Dogs
Visit the SPCA or Licences & Bylaws for information on emergency plans for cats and dogs, as well as information on what to do if you find or lose a pet.
Ensure your cat or dog has some form of identification, such as a collar, a microchip, or a tattoo.
Get a Pet Safety Sticker. If you are not at home during an evacuation, this sticker will inform responders that there are pets living in the house and directs responders where to take your pets for you to pick up. Your pet may need to be housed in animal shelters or foster homes if you are away for long periods of time and are unable to retrieve your pet. Download the Door Sticker (PDF).
Find an out-of-town friend or relative willing to take care of your pet in the event of an emergency. If possible, ask a few friends or family members in advance if they would be willing to take care of your pet. Your pet may need to be housed by a friend or family member if you are displaced by an emergency.
Have a photo of your pet and a copy of your pet license as part of your Emergency Kit.
Ensure that your pet’s belongings (medication, food, toys, leash, etc.) are part of your Emergency Kit.
Evacuating exotic pets can be challenging. The following tips provide you with a starting point for an evacuation plan for your pet. Remember to consult with your vet when developing this plan.
Birds: Use a small, secured, covered carrier when transporting your bird to help your bird avoid injury and stress. Have materials to line the bottom of the cage, such as newspapers. If traveling in cold weather, always warm the interior of your vehicle before moving your bird. You may want to consider bringing a hot water.
Reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles): Place your reptile in a small, secure transport carrier. Allow lizards or snakes to soak in shallow water before bagging or caging.
Amphibians (frogs, newts, salamanders): Use a water-tight plastic bag or container to transport your pet. It is best to place only one animal per container. Small ventilation holes should be punched at the top of the container. For aquatic species, fill a plastic bag one third full of water, then inflate the bag with fresh air and close with a knot or rubber band. It is best to use clean water from the animal’s enclosure to minimize stress.
If I Am Evacuated to a Reception Centre, Where Does My Pet Go?
In order to maintain the best interests of all persons affected by a disaster, Reception Centres do not allow pets (with the exception of service animals). A separate location close to the Reception Centre may be available to lodge your pet for a short period of time.
Download this simple Recipe Card for an easy to use and readily available card for your emergency preparedness for your pet (PDF)