Evacuating Your Pets

Preparing Supplies and Arranging Transport Can Save Critical Time

Preparing supplies and arranging safe pet transportation in advance can save critical time during a disaster or evacuation.

Cat & Dog Checklist

Tags/Identification: Make sure your pet is wearing all its identification tags, including name, rabies tag, and registration. Consider microchipping your pet so it can be identified if it ends up at a shelter or veterinary office.

Transportation: Make sure you have a kennel or carrying case handy. It should be labeled with your name and contact info, as well as the name of your pet, in case you get separated. Include necessary leashes or harnesses. If your pet has any critical medical conditions or behavioral tendencies, these should be noted too.

Food, Water, Medicine: Put together a 3-5-day supply of food, water, and, if needed, medicine, with brief instructions.

Waste: Have supplies to dispose of waste, including plastic bags, litter, and scoopers.

Veterinary Records: Pack a copy of your pet’s veterinary records, including vaccination and medical history, as well as your vet’s contact info.

Picture: Keep an image of your pet with you for identification purposes in case you get separated.

Lodging: Identify a safe place you can take your pet in case of evacuation. Communicate with local hotels or animal facilities about their emergency boarding policies. Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations, or it may be turned away from boarding facilities. Identify at least one family member or close friend that could take custody of your pet in case of an emergency.

Comfort Item: Pack your pet’s favorite stuffed animal, toy, or blanket to comfort them and keep them occupied. Pets will be distressed in an emergency just like humans.

Emergency Rescue Sticker: These stickers should be placed on the doors of your home to indicate there may be pets inside that need rescuing. They can be ordered online through the ASPCA at aspca.org.

Horses & Other Livestock

Supplies: All harnesses and a blanket if your animal has one; a three-day food supply; medical records.

Identification: Put your name and contact information on your animal using a livestock crayon, neck band, or labeled halter.

Transportation: Make sure you have a functional trailer and towing vehicle with fully inflated tires. If you do not have a trailer, make arrangements to borrow one or contact the Santa Barbara Equine Assistance & Evacuation Team (805-892-4484; sbequineevac.org)

Preparation: The Santa Barbara Humane Society offers ranch emergency planning assistance. Contact Tim Collins for more information (timcollins@sbhumanesociety.org)

Birds

Supplies: Cage liners; a blanket to place over the cage in case of cold weather; a spray bottle filled with warm water to dampen feathers in case of hot weather.

Identification: A marked leg or information attached to the cage.

Rabbits, Guinea Pigs & Hamsters

Supplies: Extra bedding; a blanket to place over the cage (small mammals are easily startled, and this will help keep them calm); three days’ worth of food; frozen water bottles or other cooling devices (rabbits are very heat-sensitive).

Fish

Supplies: A lightweight evacuation tank or jar; plenty of extra fresh water; “vacation feeders” to supply food for several days; small net.

Reptiles

Supplies: A lightweight evacuation terrarium or container with breathing holes; heating devices/lamps; sturdy bowl to allow your pet to soak in water if needed; a pillowcase for snake evacuation.

Lost Your Pet?

Call the Santa Barbara Humane Society’s Lost & Found hotline at (805) 681-5285 or after business hours at (805) 564-6862.

Report your lost pet online through Santa Barbara County Animal Services at countyofsb.org.

More Resources

(*Offers emergency boarding services)

County Animal Services*: (805) 681-5285; countyofsb.org

County Animal Services Emergency Hotline: (805) 681-4332

Santa Barbara Humane Society*: (805) 964-4777; sbhumanesociety.org

Santa Barbara Humane Society Emergency Hotline: (805) 330-3330

City of Santa Barbara Animal Control*: (805) 963-1513; santabarbaraca.gov

Earl Warren Showgrounds*: (805) 687-0766; earlwarren.com

BUNS (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter)*: (805) 683-0521; bunssb.org

VCA Care Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital: (805) 899-2273; vcahospitals.com/care

Advanced Veterinary Specialists: (805) 729-4460; avs4pets.com