Santa Barbara County, Calif. — As the Rey Fire burns near Santa Barbara, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions should residences be threatened and more evacuations be ordered. The following information could help save the lives of cats, dogs, companion birds, and other animals who need to be included in evacuation plans:
• In the event that your area is evacuated, never leave companion animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.
• Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims often don’t allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.
• Never leave animals unsupervised in a car—they can panic and try to escape or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.
• Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed with harnesses because frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt and strangle. Take water and food bowls, your animal’s favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least one week.
• Residents in areas affected by smoke and falling ash should make sure that animals are kept inside and avoid all outside activities, like running with dogs. If visibility is less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke has compromised the air quality and reached levels that are dangerous for everyone.
Please visit PETA.org for additional disaster-preparedness tips, or click here—or here, for online—to view or link to PETA’s disaster-preparedness public service announcement.