PHOENIX, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- June is National Pet Preparedness Month and with hurricane and wildfire season just weeks away, PetSmart® is helping local animal welfare organizations prepare for a safe summer. Select stores across the U.S. and Canada will host the third annual pet food donation drive. By helping these animal welfare and pet rescue organizations stockpile food, PetSmart is helping them prepare for natural disasters and unexpected emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through Sunday, May 30, PetSmart customers are invited to purchase and donate dry or wet dog and cat food in stores to then be delivered to nearby animal welfare organizations assisting pets in need in their community.
Hub City Humane in Hattiesburg, MS was one of the animal welfare organizations who benefitted from the PetSmart food drive last year.
"Living near the coastline makes preparing for hurricane season a big priority for us," Megan Marlowe, Hub City Humane board member said. "Last year, PetSmart customers and associates raised donations translating to more than 5,000 pounds of food for our animals. We're so grateful for the support our local PetSmart store has given us over the years – not only with the donation drives but with helping us find our shelter animals loving homes."
To further support local animal welfare organizations and pet shelters in their mission to help pets in need, customers may also donate to PetSmart Charities at the PIN pad located at the registers in all PetSmart stores year-round, as well as online at petsmartcharities.org.
Tips to Keep Pets Safe During Severe Weather
Whether it's a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, a wildfire or a flood— natural disasters are frightening and often unexpected. PetSmart's resident veterinarian and pet care expert, Jennifer Freeman, DVM, says pet parents should know how to keep their pets safe and calm in the event of a natural disaster.
"The best way to keep pets safe during an emergency is to prepare in advance," Freeman said. "It is common to overlook pets when preparing for an emergency but taking a few simple steps to include your pets' needs in your family preparedness plan will help ensure they are comfortable and safe in the event of an emergency."
Dr. Freeman suggests the following pet preparedness safety tips:
Ensure your pets are safely contained. When severe weather warnings go into effect, crate or kennel your animals. Consider getting a pet carrier if you don't already have one and practicing crate training in advance to avoid extra stress in the face of an emergency. For fish or turtles, it's a good idea to have buckets or plastic bins with a lid on hand in the event you need to evacuate them. This is a safer alternative to transporting these pets in glass bowls or aquariums.
Make sure your pet has identification. Countless pets go missing after storms, wildfires and other natural disasters. Proper ID on your pet is the best assurance that you and your pet are reunited in the event you are separated. "Consider microchip identification for your pets, as this is a permanent way to identify them and is used universally by animal shelters and veterinarians," Freeman said.
Look for pet-friendly housing options for your pet should you need to evacuate your home. Ensure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, which are often needed for boarding, and that you have a supply of your pet's medication.
Ask friends, relatives and others outside of your immediate area whether they could shelter your animals.
Prepare a list of animal shelters, boarding facilities and veterinarian offices that could shelter animals during an emergency and include 24-hour phone numbers.
If you plan to take your pet with you, seek out pet-friendly hotels that are along possible evacuation routes in advance so that you are not caught without a place to stay for the night.
Assemble a pet emergency supply kit. Pet emergency kits do not need to be big but should include the following, in an easy-to-carry waterproof container that can be taken in the event of an evacuation.
Current photos of your pets, in case they get lost
Provide comfort. Severe weather or leaving home can be frightening to pets. Provide your dog or cat with a familiar toy or blanket or try aids like calming sprays, collars, chews, supplements, anti-anxiety medications, or a ThunderShirt™ to help ease anxiety.
Be aware of "paw-level" hazards post-storm. Sharp debris, toxic spilled chemicals, fertilizers and other substances on the floor of the home or ground outside may pose less risk to upright humans but can be dangerous to ground-level pets. Downed power lines from hurricanes and high water from floods can also pose a threat to humans and animals after a disaster. Take the time to consider the dangers your pet will face before entering an area, home, shelter or other building.
About PetSmart® PetSmart LLC is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart's passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities.
PetSmart operates approximately 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption.
PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with nearly 4,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 9 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization.
About PetSmart Charities® PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $450 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.