Remember pet in emergency

DEAR READERS:When faced with a grab-it-and-go emergency in your home (fire or flooding) or a natural disaster (tornado or hurricane), you should have a plan in place so your pets will be cared for and safe. Please don't leave your pets behind.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers some great ideas for your pets in case you have to leave at a moment's notice.

Make arrangements in advance to have a secure place in mind where your pet can go if you have to evacuate your home. (Note: Not all Red Cross shelters accept pets; contact your local shelter to check on the policy.)

For example, ask your veterinarian if he or she can recommend a kennel. Research which hotels and motels will take pets; many now do. Also call on friends and family members who live outside of the threat area to see if they will keep your temporarily homeless pets.

As for supplies, have a bag ready to go that contains the following items: One week's worth of food and bottled water, food bowl, portable litter pan for cats with litter or paper toweling, leash and yard stake for dogs, photocopies of medical and shot histories, any medication the animal may be on, a blanket, pictures of your pet and other items to comfort and care for the animals. Go to: for the complete list of supplies.


In the event of an emergency, you may be out of your house for a time. Be ready for it, especially in deciding who will care for your pet in these circumstances, and have that bag ready just in case. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE:As the years pass, it becomes more difficult to unload the heavy bag(s) of dog or cat food or birdseed from my car. When I know something like this is on my list, I put a sheet of heavy plastic in the front passenger seat of the car. I persuade the carryout person to place the bag on the plastic instead of in the trunk. When I get home, I can pull slightly down on the bag, and it slides out onto the garage floor or, better yet, into a wagon. And I have not lifted the heavy bag. — Janet Edwards, Springfield, Ill.

DEAR HELOISE:I needed a urine specimen from my dog, which is trained to use pads, so I turned one over on the plastic side. I used a syringe to pick up her urine and put it in a specimen jar. — A Reader, via e-mail

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