Important Papers for Pets
In your continuous planning efforts, you should include important papers for each pet, that you may need for any number of situations. Depending on the type of disaster, your pet may require medical treatment from an unfamiliar veterinarian or be required to stay at an unfamiliar boarding facility. In the worst case scenario, your pet may have even become lost or abandoned.
Most of us were heartbroken to see the thousands of pets left homeless as a result of Hurricane Katrina. At the onset of the disaster most evacuees did not have time to gather important papers such as regular ID information, vet records, or current photos to post a search effort. Many pets did not have Chips or collar ID’s, but even with contact information it proved to be an arduous task to reconnect pets with their owners. This is why we recommend having copies of the following important papers, for each pet, for inclusion in your Evacuation Kit:
Current and Complete Proof of Vaccination and Medical History – This can be accomplished by gathering bills for services as long as they include the treating veterinarian’s full address and phone number. (If you are unable to prove your pet is current on vaccinations, another full set will be required before boarding or treatment can occur. If your pet is in diminished condition or has depressed immunity, unnecessary treatment may pose an additional health risk.)
NOTE: To protect pets from kennel cough, boarding or overnight pet facilities usually require the Bordatella vaccine. Be sure you have documentation to prove your pet is current on this six month vaccination to avoid the unnecessary expense and stress to your pet if re-vaccination is required during an emergency situation.
City/County/State Pet Registration Card (where required) – This form contains important city/county/state licensing information about your pet/s.
ID Chip Certificate – This certificate shows both the manufacturer of your pet’s micro-chip and the critical serial number embedded in the chip. The microchip implant is inserted under the skin and is about the size of a grain of rice. The serial number on the chip is then registered and linked to the owner of the pet. This form of identification is helpful if your pet becomes lost or loses its tags and/or collar.
NOTE: Have your veterinarian locate and read the microchip at least once every year. Be aware that growth, weight gain, injuries and surgeries can cause the chip to migrate below the skin or to be removed unintentionally. Without routine checks to locate the chip you won’t know if it will be present when needed.
A Recent Photograph – Have at least one recent picture of your pet showing color, distinguishing markings and size in relation to other known objects. We recommend having an electronic version of this photo stored on your computer and a hard copy for inclusion in your Personal Preaction™ Plan Notebook.