For Immediate Release:
17 June 2016

Group Warns Against Leaving Animals Behind to Fend for Themselves

Toowoomba – As dangerous storms threaten your area, PETA is offering important advice for ensuring the safety of companion animals should residents experience major flooding or be forced to evacuate. Please alert your audience to the following information, which could help save the lives of cats, dogs, birds and other companion animals who should be included in disaster-preparedness plans:

  • When there are flood warnings, never leave your animals outdoors, tied up or confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising waters.
  • In the event of an evacuation, never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t equipped to survive disasters any better than humans are.
  • Know your emergency destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims often don’t allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.
  • Never leave animals unsupervised in a car. Doing so can cause them to panic and try to escape – or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 21 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open. Animals can also be stolen from parked vehicles.
  • 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’ favourite toy or blanket, a towel and enough food to last them at least a week.
  • Watch for other animals in need, including strays and those 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.

Don't leave animals behind

A copy of PETA’s disaster-preparedness public service announcement is available to link to or download here.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.