TOPEKA, Kan., May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the significant risk pets face during natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established May 13, 2017, as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. To raise awareness of this initiative, Hill's Pet Nutrition is joining with its nation-wide network of animal shelter partners to encourage pet parents to include their pets in their family emergency planning.
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"Being prepared is the best step families can take to ensure that they and their pets are ready to face an emergency," said Joann Fuller, who oversees Hill's Pet Nutrition Food, Shelter & Love® program. "Knowing that a kit is packed and ready to go can put families at ease and ensure that everyone, including the pets, are taken care of during a crisis."
In its fourth year of promoting preparedness tips, Hill's enlisted the help of shelters it supports through the Hill's Food, Shelter & Love® program. These shelters, which are located in communities across the country, are helping raise awareness of the importance of being pet prepared.
Hill's and the shelters suggest families build a Pet Emergency Go-Kit and store it with the rest of the family's emergency preparations:
- Basic first aid supplies
- A 3-day supply of bottled water and the pet's preferred food, held in a waterproof container
- Safety harness and leash
- Waste clean-up supplies
- Medications and a copy of the pet's medical records
- List of veterinarians and local pet care organizations
- List of the pet's feeding routine and any behavioral issues
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or favorite toy, to help keep the pet calm and comfortable
Hill's also recommends the following Tips to Help Ensure Your Pet's Safety in an Emergency:
- Ensure your pet's identification by using a microchip or collar ID tag, and make sure that all contact information is up-to-date.
- Display a pet rescue decal on the front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include the local veterinarian's contact information.
- Learn where your pets like to hide in the house when frightened. Finding a pet quickly will help to evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take a pet in case of evacuation. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of the pet in the event of separation.
- In case of evacuation, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
When communities are hit with disasters, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network responds quickly to supply pet food to communities in need. The first-of-its-kind network was established in 2013 as an extension of the Hill's Food, Shelter & Love® program, which has donated more than $280 million worth of Hill's® Science Diet® brand pet foods to more than 1,000 shelters in the U.S. and helped more than 8 million pets find new homes.
In the past few years, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network delivered free food to shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to more than 40 major incidents, including floods, fires, tornadoes and a mudslide. The network responded to 16 emergencies across the United States in 2016, including the severe flooding in Louisiana, where it donated 75,000 pounds of free pet food.
"Families face many challenges when dealing with an emergency, and having one less thing to worry about due to advanced planning can make all the difference during a disaster," said Rich Anderson, Executive Director and CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, FL. Anderson is working with Hill's as a national advocate for National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.
"These tips are important to not only ensure families are able to leave quickly, but that they are able to stay together – with their pets by their side – in trying times," Anderson said.
Families can view the entire Pet Emergency Go-Kit and learn more tips about disaster preparedness and safety at HillsPet.com/PetPrepared. Shelters in need of assistance can contact DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.
About Hill's Pet Nutrition
Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hill's mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL'S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL'S® Science Diet® and HILL'S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords "Hill's Pet Nutrition."
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SOURCE Hill's Pet Nutrition