SOURCE: Pet360

Pet360

September 11, 2014 10:00 ET

Pet360 Survey Reveals Pet Owners Are Not Prepared for Emergency Situations

Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team Offer Tips for Ensuring Pet Safety When Disaster Strikes

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - September 11, 2014) - Pet360 Inc. -- the leading digital resource for pet parents -- recently surveyed more than 5,000 pet owners to find out how many are prepared to face emergency situations with their pets. The results of the survey reveal that despite the threat disasters pose, a majority of pet owners are ill-prepared to ensure the safety of their pets if disaster strikes.

The survey's key findings include:

  • The Danger Is Real -- 13% of respondents experienced a natural disaster or emergency evacuation with their pets. Of those who have been through either scenario, 12% were separated from their pets.
  • Housing Is a Concern -- When asked what they would do if pets were not allowed in a disaster relief shelter, 75% of respondents said they would look for alternate housing. Finding a place to stay in the aftermath of a disaster; however, can be difficult.
  • Pet Owners Are Not Prepared -- 46% of pet owners do not have an emergency plan for their pets. Of those who do have a plan, only 40% practice it with their pets. Less than 35% have a pet emergency kit, and only 37% have Pet Alert stickers in their windows.

"Sadly, we see just how devastating the effects of fires and other disasters can be to a family, and it's even more devastating when pets are involved," states Jen Leary, Founder of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team -- a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that provides emergency support to pets involved in residential fires and other disasters. "A family loses everything and is then faced with having to surrender or abandon their pet because they did not have an emergency plan in place."

To assist pet owners with emergency planning, Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team have pulled together the Four P's of Pet Preparedness:

1. Plan ahead -- Many local and state health and safety regulations do not allow pets to accompany their owners to disaster shelters. Determine the best evacuation plan now, including where to go and how to get your pets there safely. Follow this emergency planning checklist, and you'll be well-prepared.

2. Practice with your pets -- The first step of any pet evacuation plan is to quickly and safely remove your pet from harm's way. Your pet may be inclined to run and hide when disaster strikes, so be sure to rehearse a "come" command with your dog and identify a reliable way to find your cat, maybe by opening a can of food. Also practice putting your cat in a carrier and getting your dog in and out of the car. The more you practice, the more comfortable they'll be. 

3. Pack an emergency kit -- Assembling an emergency go-kit well in advance of a disaster will ensure nothing gets left behind. Your pet emergency kit should include first aid supplies, proof of ownership, vaccination history, and at least one of your pet's favorite toys or blankets. Not sure what else to pack? Check out Pet360's top 10 pet emergency kit items.

4. Protect your pets when they're home alone -- Disasters can strike when you're not home. Notify neighbors that you have pets in your home and display a Pet Alert sticker on your front door or window to let first responders know how many pets are inside. Remember to include your veterinarian's contact information.

About Pet360, Inc.

Pet360 is an integrated media company dedicated to connecting pet parents with the information, products and advice they need to raise happy, healthy pets. The Pet360 family of brands includes Pet360.com -- the most comprehensive online resource for pet parents; petMD.com -- the world's largest digital resource for pet health information; PetFoodDirect.com -- the leading online retailer of pet food, medications and supplies; Only Natural Pet -- a complete line of all natural pet supplies; and BlogPaws -- the largest professional network of pet bloggers and social media enthusiasts. The company is headquartered outside Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit www.pet360inc.com.

About The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency response nonprofit that works in conjunction with other emergency response agencies in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties to provide emergency transport, shelter, and veterinary care to pets involved in residential fires and other disasters. Our mission is to provide emergency assistance for pets, to care for them while the family recovers and to reunite them once the family rebuilds! For more information, visit www.redpawemergencyreliefteam.org.

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