Updated: Saturday, 02 Jun 2012, 2:56 PM CDT
Published : Saturday, 02 Jun 2012, 7:00 AM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The 2012 Hurricane Season kicked off before the official start date of June 1 with two named storms on the East Coast.
While many people think of preparing their homes and their families for what could happen, their pets can be forgotten.
Lake Research Partners and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) teamed up to see just how many pet owners were ready.
The 2011 poll revealed that more than one-third (35 percent) of cat and dog owners don't have a disaster preparedness plan in place.
“Hurricanes, like other natural or man-made disasters, threaten the safety of people and animals alike, and it’s often too late to create a plan for your pets when you’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Dr. Dick Green, director of disaster response for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team.
“Why risk not being prepared for an emergency when all it takes is following some very simple steps? Having a plan in place ahead of time can save you precious time and energy, so you can focus on quickly getting you and your pets to safety.”
The poll also found the majority of pet owners who have made plans, those plans include bringing their pets with them if an evacuation is ordered. However, only a quarter of those prepared said their animals were micro-chipped.
“Microchips can be extremely helpful in reuniting lost pets with their owners,” adds Tim Rickey, senior director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team.
Ricky led the relief and recovery efforts of more than 1,300 animals following the EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. in May 2011.
“The ASPCA strongly recommends pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification, and that owners micro-chip their pets as a more permanent form of identification.”
The ASPCA offers the following tips on emergency preparedness:
In 2011, the ASPCA assisted more than 18,500 animals in communities throughout the Midwest and South that were severely affected by tornadoes, flooding and storms, and estimates that more than 600,000 cats and dogs were affected by natural disasters nationwide.
More Information: www.aspca.org