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Civil Defence (pets)


Prepare your pet for emergency

You never know when disaster could strike.

To ensure you get through an emergency, you need to have a plan in place for all members of your family – including those with four legs.

Unfortunately pets are often forgotten in an emergency. It’s up to you as a pet owner to have a plan to keep your pet(s) safe.

Get your pets through too!

  • Attach a permanent disc to your pet’s collar stating your name, phone number and address.
  • Keep your dog’s registration up to date, microchip it and make sure it wears the registration tag.
  • Registered dogs are automatically entered on the national dog database. Notifying Council of your dog’s microchip number will enable even better identification and tracing. Contact your vet regarding microchip and registration options for pets other than dogs.
  •  Ensure your pet has regular vaccinations as many animal shelters will not accept unvaccinated animals. Bring the vaccination card with you in an emergency.

Just like you, your pet needs a civil defence kit. 

  • Food and water for at least three days, and feeding bowls
  • Any medication your pet uses
  • Collar, leash and muzzle
  • A carry box, pet litter and/or litter box
  • Rubbish bags to clean up after your pet
  • Towel or blanket for bedding
  • Vaccination cards and records of current registration and microchip numbers
  • A photo of your pet to assist with identification

In an emergency 

Your pet may be frightened, stressed, or display some abnormal behavioural traits so it is important to be calm and confident. This will help your animal settle. Don’t growl or punish your pet as this will increase its anxiety.

If you need to evacuate, take your pets with you if you can safely do so.
Develop a buddy system with neighbours, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to evacuate and care for your pets if you are unable to.

If you are going to a public shelter, remember that animals may not be allowed inside. Most welfare or evacuation centres will not accept pets except for service animals such as guide dogs. Listen to your radio for more information about pet-friendly shelters.

Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets. For example, keep a contact list of pet accommodation and pet-friendly hotels and motels, or make in-case-of-evacuation arrangements with friends or relatives outside your neighbourhood or area.

Horses, pigs, poultry and livestock should be moved to paddocks away from floodwaters, landslides and power lines. In the event of an evacuation, have a plan in place so that they will be secure and have food, water and shelter.

Remember – it is your responsibility to ensure your animal(s) are cared for in an emergency.

Always listen to the radio and follow the directions of Civil Defence staff in an emergency.

Prepare your pet for emergency.

For more information on what to do with your pets in an emergency, take a look at the World Society for the Protection of Animals website.

World Society for the Protection of Animals


Last Reviewed: 11/12/2015