Have four-legged pals? Here’s how to prepare pets for storms

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As humans prepare for Hurricane Laura to make landfall in the Gulf, pet lovers encourage owners to equally prepare for their pets.

Baton Rouge cat shelter Cat Haven has seen an influx of animals in need of rescue after storms. Cat Haven urges owners to have an emergency plan set for pets.

“We see an increase of cat admissions right before storms and right after storms,” Cat Haven Executive Director Rachel Holzhauser said. “Some people get separated from animals, some animals get separated from their owners and some people who get nervous about the storm bring them in to get them out the weather.”

Cat Haven recommends the following for pet emergency plans:

  • Know your pet’s hiding spots
  • Have a leash
  • Have a collar with name, address and phone number
  • Create a three or four day emergency kit including water, food, vaccination records and a carrier
  • Bring outdoor pets inside
  • Keep animals close to you

Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain urged locals to make preparations for livestock and pets at the start of hurricane season.

“As for animals, livestock owners should identify an area on their property that is least
likely to flood and where the animals can be moved when severe weather threatens the
area,” Strain said. “During an evacuation, it is important to leave early and have a place to go that allows livestock and or family pets.”

Click here to view LDAF’s pet emergency plan.

For those who are evactauting, Cat Haven says pets need time to adjust when traveling.

“They can be really nervous, so give them their space and time to adjust being in their new surroundings,” Holzhauser said. “Keep them away from children, strangers and other animals.”

Cat Haven says pet anxiety is real and recommends speaking to a vet about the best option to make pets comfortable.

“Storms can really scare animals, you don’t want to sedate them because if you sedate them they wont have their natural instinct to react.”

To prepare for Hurricane Laura, Cat Haven is rearranging the shelter to ensure animals’ safety.

The latest on Hurricane Laura can be found here.

Cat Haven has around 80 to 100 cats up for adoption, and more information can be found on its Facebook page.

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