Now That the Season Is Upon Us, It’s Time to Have a Plan, PETA Says

For Immediate Release:
18 October 2013

Sydney – The bushfire season has arrived early and ferociously across Eastern Australia. That’s why PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animals should residents be forced to evacuate. Please alert your readers to the following information, which could help save the lives of both companion animals and farmed animals, who need to be included in disaster-preparedness plans:

It’s crucial that everyone with animals have a plan to protect them during a bushfire. Rule number one: never leave animals behind to fend for themselves. Also, never leave animals trapped by tying them up or otherwise confining them. The following are additional measures that can mean the difference between life and death:

For Cats, Dogs and Other Companion Animals-

  • Know your destination. Although human shelters often refuse animals, motels often allow dogs, cats and other small animals in an emergency.
  • Never leave animals unsupervised in a car – they can suffer from heatstroke, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.
  • Place small animals in secure carriers or on a leash, and ensure that they have an ID tag attached to their collars in case they become frightened and bolt.
  • Take water and food bowls, your animals’ favourite toys or blankets, a towel and enough food for at least a week.

For Large Animals-

  • Identify or prepare a low-risk area (one with few resources to fuel a fire) to which the animals can be moved prior to the fire. A low-risk paddock is sufficient for cattle and horses.
  • If you plan to stay on the property, have at least a week’s worth of feed on hand.
  • If you see someone else’s animal in distress and are unable to help, call the authorities as soon as possible.

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