Have a pet, have a plan!

Fans of Eye on L.A. might remember when host Tina Malave adopted a rescued dog from the North Central Animal Shelter. She named him Teddy Winkleton and took him home, but little did she know what the future would hold because there was no information to be had about Teddy or his medical conditions.

Teddy's previous owner had died in the hospital and Teddy was left alone at home for weeks without food or water, and on the verge of death when he was finally discovered. That's all in the past now, and today Teddy's happy and healthy! But it's been a long road to recovery, and now Tina and Teddy have a message for all pet owners: HAVE A PET, HAVE A PLAN!

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), most people don't have a plan for their pets in case of emergency. So here are 7 tips to help you be prepared to protect your pets in case of emergency.

  1. Designate a Friend or Relative

  2. Identify someone you know and trust to be your pet's temporary (or permanent) caregiver in case of emergency. They should have keys to your house and all of your pet's vital information.

  3. Carry a Pet Alert Card in Your Wallet

  4. This card lets authorities know in case anything happens to you that you have pets at home that need to be taken care of, and lists contacts who can care for them. Here are some you can download: https://www.letfamilyknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Pet_Alert_Wallet_Card.pdf

  5. Create a Pet Dossier

  6. Keep all of your important records about your pet in a file. Include a list of medications, behavioral concerns, veterinary information, what they like to eat, and anything else a caregiver might need to know about your pet.

  7. Make an Evacuation Pack

  8. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Items to consider keeping in or near your "Evac-Pack" include:

    Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
    3-7 days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
    Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
    Litter or paper toweling
    Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
    Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
    Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit-otherwise they may go bad or become useless.
    At least 7 days worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
    A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)
    Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
    Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week's worth of cage liner

  9. Get Your Pet Microchipped

  10. You might become separated from your pets, so the ASPCA strongly encourages you to have a microchip injected into your pets. It's about the size of a grain of rice and sits beneath the surface of your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read its unique dog or cat ID code, which will help get him/her returned home.

  11. Put a Disaster Sticker on Your Front Door

  12. This lets authorities know in case of an evacuation that you have animals inside that also need to be rescued. Get your free sticker here: https://secure.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack
    If you evacuate, and time allows, write EVACUATED on the sticker before leaving so authorities don't think there are pets inside.

  13. Download the Free ASPCA App

  14. With a few swipes, you can access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a natural disaster-even if there's no data connectivity; store and manage your pet's critical health records; receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances; build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels; and get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/aspca-mobile-app

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