Healthy Dogs Need Emergency Plans…(know where you can stay if you need to evacuate!)

Healthy dogs need emergency evacuation plans too!

Wow!  Last night’s event on emergency preparedness for your pets was a real eye-opener…both for my pets and for me.

I realized I don’t even have a plan for myself and my husband if our house catches on fire.  How would we get out?  What if we are trapped on the second story? (hint…buy a ladder you can hang out a window so you don’t have to use the stairs)

There was an amazing amount of information, mostly geared to dogs and cats.

The new mantra in case of emergency evacuation is:  “If you go, they go!”  No more leaving your pets behind like they did during Katrina; that created problems and tragedies for people, pets and for the emergency responders.  People refused to leave their pets behind, stayed in their homes, and as the flood waters rose and they realized the danger they were in, tried to evacuate.  This is the worst of scenarios, and puts emergency responders in more danger than they are in already.

Some of the people who left their pets behind tried to return to their homes in order to rescue their pets, thereby creating more crisis situations.  In addition, the soup that was the mess in the streets was so toxic with oil, sewage and debris, that being exposed to it was extremely dangerous for everyone.

There are now lists of motels and hotels that are pet friendly available online.  The link from is:  Be sure to update your list occasionally, as hotels change their policies to exclude or add pet accommodating policies.  In addition, some hotels/motels charge for the pet(s) while others do not charge.  Some hotels have weight or breed restrictions, number of pets restrictions, etc.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with this list before you need it.  In fact, that was largely the message of the event.  Be prepared.  Don’t wait for an emergency evacuation to try to pull together a plan for you and your pets.  Don’t be cocky or complacent that an emergency evacuation will never happen in your area or to you.

This topic deserves more attention, and I will share more information on it!

To Your Dog’s Good Health…(and safety!)

Cheryl Major

Chloe at 17

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About Cheryl Major

Cheryl Major has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Massachusetts for 14 years, and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. Her blog,, is a labor of love. She has also been involved in passing animal protection legislation at the city and state levels and was a regular guest on New England Cable News (NECN) for their "Adopt a Pet Segment". This blog is dedicated to the joys and challenges of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages with whom we share our lives.

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