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U.S. chief veterinary officer: Pets need a disaster plan too

July 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., July 24 (UPI) -- The chief veterinary officer for the National Disaster Medical System says no family disaster plan is complete without a plan for the family pet.

Ty Vannieuwenhoven, a veterinarian at the National Disaster Medical System, said a pet is a part of the family and every family needs a disaster plan that includes plans and provisions for the family pet.

"Evacuation can be scary for a pet, so be sure to have them leashed, crated or in a carrier, and make sure to have their vet records with them," Vannieuwenhoven said in a statement.

Pack a bag for a pet that includes a water bowl, food, a toy, bags to clean up after them and any medications they need.

Sometimes people and pets get separated during a disaster. Have a picture of all pets in case separation occurs, Vannieuwenhoven said.

"It's much easier to find your pets if they have appropriate identification on their collars, and even better, if they're microchipped," Vannieuwenhoven said. "It's pretty inexpensive and not painful."

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