Preparing your pets in case of emergency

The SPCA of Wake County urges you to develop your own pet emergency plan, both for the short and long-term well-being of your family pets.

First, make sure you have visible pet identification for each family pet. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. Please consider microchipping your pets.  This is one of the best ways to make sure you and your pet are reunited if you do become separated.

Second, put a pet emergency kit together. In addition to this checklist from Ready.Gov, here is a quick review of essential items:

  1. 3-Days of food kept in an airtight, waterproof container. Remember to include a can opener.
  2. 3-Days of water specifically for your pets
  3. Medicines and Medical Record, including vaccination documents in a clear waterproof bag.
  4. First-Aid Kit. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits will include bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic treatment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol.
  5. Collar or harness and leash. Your pet should wear a collar with rabies tag. Include extra in your emergency kit
  6. Crate or Pet Carrier
  7. Pet Litter, Litter Box and paper towels, trash bags and household chlorine bleach
  8. Favorite Things! Put toys, treats and bedding in the kit. This helps reduce stress for your pet
  9. Picture your pet and a photo of you and your pet together. If you become separated during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together helps document ownership and allows others to assist you in identifying and reuniting you and your pet. You may also consider writing a pet "resume" that includes detailed information about your pet.

Third, make sure you know what to do should you have to evacuate. Plan on taking your pet with you and learn whether evacuation sites allow for pets. Some shelter sites might not allow pets inside the shelter. Find out BEFORE an emergency happens whether certain facilities in your area are viable options for you and your pets. Have a friend or neighbor lined up to reach your pet if you cannot get home to them. Here is a helpful website to find pet-friendly hotels.

Helping homeless pets weather the storm

The SPCA of Wake County has special plans in place during severe weather to make sure our pets are kept safe. These plans often include staff staying overnight at our Admission Center and Pet Adoption Center to make sure the animals can stay on their daily routines of medications, food, water and potty breaks. We often also see an influx of animals needing help after storms. You can make sure we are prepared by making a gift online.

Caring for your pets if they outlive you

We want to have all the time we can with our pets.  But accidents and tragedies do happen.  Have you considered what would happen to your pet if you were to pass away?  Have you talked to your family, friends, neighbors, your veterinarian or even the SPCA of Wake County in the event your pet survives you? As difficult as the conversation may start out, you will find comfort in knowing that you have a plan for your pet(s) that will make their transition as smooth as possible.

In recognition of Emergency Preparedness, the SPCA would like to announce our Peace of Mind Program. This program is open to those supporters that have a planned gift to the SPCA in their estate plans. These people become members of our Animal Legacy Society of North Carolina, and are eligible to enroll their pets in the Peace of Mind Program. This program guarantees that every healthy and behaviorally sound animal will be placed for adoption. We will work with you and any named temporary caregivers to welcome the animal to our facilities in order to ensure they continue to receive the comfort, care and the compassion that they deserve.

To learn more about our Planned Giving program, please go to or contact Mondy Lamb at or by phone at 919-532-2082.

To watch a video about emergency preparedness for your pet, please go to

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