Pets depend on us for their safety and well-being, so be sure to include them in your family emergency plan. If you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them with you. Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Services encourages you to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster situation. This page contains information and links to tips on how to make sure you and your pet are best protected and prepared in the event that you must evacuate your home.
CMAS works with Emergency Management and American Red Cross to ensure that emergency sheltering for pets is available for anyone who needs to evacuate their home. CMAS may set up temporary pet shelters at various Red Cross Evacuation Shelters to house pets.
Stay tuned to your local news stations for information on the locations of Evacuation Shelters.
Scroll down on this page to watch some youtube videos with Meteoroligist Kaitlin Cody, Char-Meck Emergency Management's Alisha Reddman, Melissa Knicely, and Julia Conner. They give you day by day tips so you can be prepared. Kaitlin was with WCCB News when she first created these videos but she's now moved to the windy city. Though she's moved away from Charlotte, her message is still the same.Planning Ahead & Pet Safety
Warnings are often issued hours - even days in advance. A little advance planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely.
Have pet disaster supplies ready to take at a moment's notice.
Bring all pets inside so that you won't have to search for them if you must leave in a hurry.
Securely fasten collars with up-to-date identification on all dogs and cats.
Attach phone numbers (including cell phone) and address of your temporary shelter or a friend or relative outside the disaster area.
Keep dogs securely leashed.
Keep cats in carriers.
Birds and animals that are kept in cages should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier. In cold weather, wrap a blanket over the carrier.
In an emergency, remember that pets can react differently under stress.
Do not leave your animals unattended where they can run off, and don't turn them loose during an emergency. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape, or event bite.
Make sure your pet is microchipped in case your pet gets lost during an emergency. A Microchip is permanent identification for your pet. Is your pet already microchipped? Great! Make sure the information attached to your microchip is Up-To-Date with your current information (address, phone number, etc.). You can update your personal information at the Microchip Registration Page.
MEDICAL RECORDS: If you cannot grab your pets medical records before you evacuate but you have a smart phone you can download the Pet First Aid App from the American Red Cross. There you can upload your pets picture and all their medical information so you can take it with you everywhere you go. If you cannot grab your phone you can still access the information on someone else's phone or online. For more information, go to redcross.org/mobileapps. This app also has many other pet features in case of other pet emergencies.
A sample of a pet disaster supplies kit:
What to bring to an Animal Services Pet Evacuation Shelter:
Dogs on leashes and cats in carriers. (Pets who live in cages should be brought in their cage)
Proper identification tags for all pets
Pet immunization and medical records (see below for an application that can help store medical records)
A minimum of a two-week supply of any medicine or special diet food that your pet requires
Blankets or toys
WATER: make sure you bring enough water for the entire family, which includes your pet
Here's a helpful brochure with lots of good information from Fema, AKC, ASPCA, HSUS, and AVMA.
Animal Services's Disaster Boarding Agreement
In the event that an Evacuation Shelter closes before an owner can find permanent housing for the pet, Animal Services will make every effort to accommodate the pet at their facility at 8315 Byrum Drive Charlotte, NC until permanent housing is found. The Disaster Boarding Agreement states that Animal Services will provide housing for a pet for up to 6 weeks.
The first 14 days will be free of charge. Beginning on the 15th day, there will be a charge of $10 a day for dogs and $6 day for cats. The owner is required to check in with Animal Services at the end of the first 7 days with an update and each 7 day period thereafter. At the end of 6 weeks the situation will be evaluated and Animal Services will do their best to accommodate the situation.
In limited circumstance, boarding fees may be waived if a financial hardship can be validated.
Animal Services takes photos and post photos and descriptions of every stray animal that comes into the shelter. These photos are posted on the Stray pets in the shelter page. There are more helpful tips on what to do if you have lost your pet on the Lost Pets in the Community page.
This was a law passed in October 2006 after Hurricane Katrina devestated the South Western States. This law requires governmental jurisdictions to include pets in evacuation and disaster planning. It makes pets qualify for federal reimbursement if it is during a declared emergency. It also requires specific Red Cross shelters work in conjunction with animal related agencies to set up pet friendly areas at people-designated shelters. It does not require private businesses (such as hotels) to take in pets from evacuees. Businesses reserve the right to refuse animals based on their policies.
AC&C works very closely with local law enforcement, fire agencies, and Red Cross to assist incoming evacuees and local pet owners with setting up pet friendly areas so owners can keep their pets with them.
Pet Preparedness Pet Selfie and Vaccinate!
Pet Preparedness Pet Emergency Kit
Pet Preparedness Evacuating with Your Pet
Pet Preparedness Shelter in Place with Pet
Pet Preparedness Pet ID