The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 29, 2012

Pets shouldn’t weather weather

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP —  

All summer long, Animal Protective League animal advocate Tammy Dondorfer preached.

She lectured people about proper shade for their dogs and  available water sources for all animals from horses to cats as the temperatures reached well above 90 degrees.

Now Dondorfer’s worries have settled from heat dangers to storm dangers as the APL asks pet owners to bring their animals inside as the region prepares for Hurricane Sandy.

“No question, bring your pets inside,” she said. “Make sure all indoor animals are comfortable and make sure all small animals are brought inside until this storm passes.”

Dondorfer said even cats and dogs that have outdoor housing are in danger as the storm rages.

“Flooding, the winds are supposed to be so high, so it is better to bring them in,” she said. “Don’t take the chance. No animal deserves to weather this storm outside.”

Dondorfer said basements aren’t the best place for pets because of the threat of flooding.

“Many, many, many basements are in danger of flooding in this area over the next few days or even longer,” she said.

ACounty Dog Warden Donna Yan said anyone who finds a dog lost in the storm should make the animal safe and call the dog warden hotline at 576-6538.

“Bring the animal into a garage or barn and keep it safe,” she said. “If it is an after-hours emergency, just keep the dog overnight and I’ll pick it up the next day. You won’t have to keep the dog forever, I promise. This is about making sure frightened animals aren’t running around, crossing roads and possibly getting hit by vehicles or causing traffic hazards.”

Dondorfer also offers these storm preparedness tips:

n All pets, even pets that live indoors, should wear some form of identification.

“A spooked cat or dog may bolt out the front door in fear,” she said. “All animals should have identification in case they are lost. It is far, far easier to read a collar and return a pet than it is to have it come into the shelter and hope the owner comes looking for it.”

n Stock up on pet food.

“People run to the store for milk and toilet paper, but they forget to make sure they have plenty of dog and cat food. Add pet food to your list of emergency supplies,” she said.

n Prepare pets for possible home evacuation, too.