Group Warns Against Leaving Animals Behind to Fend for Themselves

For Immediate Release:
2 March 2012

In expectation of continuing heavy rains and flooding in large parts of New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory this week, PETA Australia is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of animal companions should residents be forced to evacuate. Please alert your listeners to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds and other animal companions who need to be included in disaster preparation plans:

  • Never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves.
  • Never tie animals up or leave them confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising floodwaters.
  • Prior to an emergency, identify places that will allow you to stay with your animals. Discuss with friends and family. Although human shelters often refuse animals, motels in the area will probably accept dogs, cats and other small animals in an emergency.
  • Assemble an emergency kit: Include leashes, bowls, towels, blankets, litter pans and litter, and at least a week’s supply of food and medications.
  • Keep animals’ vaccinations current, make sure they are microchipped and ensure they wear collars with identification tags.
  • Place small animals in secure carriers, and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, your animals’ favorite toys or blankets, a towel and enough food for at least a week.
  • Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who are left behind by neighbours. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal’s condition and location and call authorities for help as soon as possible.

For more information on helping animals in natural disasters, please visit