Are your pets prepared for bushfires?
The Country Fire Service (CFS) is reminding people to consider their pets and livestock as part of their Bushfire Survival Plan for the Fire Danger Season.
This timely reminder coincides with Bushfire Action Week activities that have been taking place during the week.
CFS Director of Preparedness Operations Leigh Miller said the heartache of losing a loved pet, especially for children, can be avoided by including pets as part of a bushfire planning strategy.
"The care and transport of pets, livestock and horses is often ignored during bushfire planning with the loss of a loved pet becoming potentially as upsetting as the loss of a home or personal possessions," Mr Miller said.
"This scenario can be easily avoided by including actions to look after the safety of pets and livestock in the Bushfire Survival Plan."
Other tips that will help the efficient management of pets for their sudden relocation ahead of a threatening bushfire include:
- Registering dogs and cats with a local council or having them micro-chipped by a vet to increase their chance of being reunited if separated from their owners.
- Exposing cats and dogs from a young age to travelling in a car.
- Being able to restrain a pet if it gets frightened and panics during a fire.
- Ensuring pet vaccinations are up-to-date in case they need to be placed in a boarding facility.
Mr Miller said families who decide to leave early in the event of a bushfire should also consider their pets' needs in their relocation kit.
"This may include adding plastic bowls for water and small amounts of dry cat and dog food in addition to an information list with the pet owner's name, contact details and pet's medical history, food requirements and vet's phone number," he said.
Fact sheets on "Pets and Livestock" and "Horses" are available on the CFS website at www.cfs.sa.gov.au and the Horse SA website at http://www.horsesa.asn.au/home/emergency/bushfire-information/
Information about emergency response and recovery for animals is also available from the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) through its website http://www.savem.org.au/