Does the Dog You Love Belong In Your Family Emergency Readiness Plan?

Did you know that September is both National Responsible Pet Ownership Month and Emergency Preparedness Month? What a great opportunity for me to revisit the question of having an emergency readiness plan for your dog!

Sadly, as you know, communities everywhere are confronting natural disasters of all kinds with alarming frequency. And too often, one of the terrible consequences for victims, is the loss of a cherished pet.

At Rescue Ranch, we work hard to get the word out about emergency preparedness, through handouts, our website, interviews with the media, and events like “May Day! at Rescue Ranch”. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to include your pet in your family emergency readiness plan.

When it comes to household pets, we recommend that you keep a go bag handy. Pack it with food, water, blanket, extra leash, collar and tags, bowls, medical history, medications, contact information and other essentials. Also crate train your cats and dogs, so that you can secure them safely and quickly whenever necessary.

Other steps for keeping your pet healthy and safe in an emergency


Keep vaccines up to date to keep your pets safe when they’re in contact other animals during an evacuation. Protect your dog against kennel cough with a Bordetella shot. Rescue Ranch will vaccinate your dog against parvo-distemper and Bordetella for the low-cost of $15. Rabies can be obtained from your veterinarian.


You’ll also want to microchip your pet. It’s an inexpensive way to improve your chances of being reunited in the event you get separated. Rescue Ranch will microchip your dog for $15.


Finally, you might be surprised to learn that spay/neuter should also be part of your emergency readiness plan. It will help mitigate assertiveness, as well as reduce escapes and curb roaming in males. Furthermore, any altered males that do get loose, will not be fathering more unwanted puppies. Having more control over these behaviors is critical during an emergency.

Another reason to spay/neuter, is that unaltered animals are difficult to manage under confined evacuation conditions. Moreover, when there’s an emergency, puppies and pregnant or nursing mothers, are at higher risk: They’re more likely to get left behind because they’re harder to transport in a hurry and more difficult to place. During and after the Lava Fire, Rescue Ranch received several nursing mothers as well as orphaned puppies from the burn zone. It was heartbreaking.

So, the short answer to the question in the title is an emphatic, yes! Please remember to include all animals in your care in your family emergency readiness plan. You won’t regret it.

Rescue Ranch’s RRAAP program will provide transportation and help you secure affordable appointments.

If you live in Yreka area,  call Rescue Ranch at 530-842-0829, to find out about microchipping and vaccination. To learn more about our spay/neuter program, RRAAP, call: 530-859-0139

If you don’t live near Rescue Ranch, please call your local rescue or animal control to find out about similar services in your area.