WSPA - Animals matter in Disasters

A groundbreaking survey* just recently released (August 2011) shows that New Zealand is a nation of pet owners and animal lovers, with the New Zealand companion animal population sitting at approximately 5 million compared to a mere 4.4 million for humans!

This means 68% of Kiwi households own at least one pet (companion animal) which is a higher percentage than any other comparable country in the world! And 99% of pet owners associate their pets as being a member of their family (Glassey, 2010).

So what would happen when these very same households are at risk due to a disaster? Planning for pets, during a disaster, is absolutely proven to save human lives.

One of the important lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina is that making sure pets are safe during a disaster can make it easier to rescue their owners. Many victims of the flood refused to leave their pets behind, risking both human and animal life and disrupting mass rescue efforts as a whole.

By making a disaster plan for your family and pets, your pet may actually end up saving your life; as you and your pet will be well prepared to evacuate fast or stay put, with sufficient supplies when a disaster strikes. A plan will help stop delays or panicked wrong decisions that could end up putting your lives (and others) at risk.

In a disaster, things happen quickly and without warning. That is why the right time to make a disaster plan is now – before you and your pet could potentially lose each other, forever.

 

Check out the full article, read more very useful information and download a disaster pack from the WSPA website »

 

*NZ Companion Animal Council (of which WSPA NZ is member).