As Hurricane Sandy prepares to make its way into Long Island and the metropolitan New York area, Central Veterinary Associates is reminding its pet owners that its hospital in Valley Stream will be open 24 hours a day during the storm and urges pet owners to keep their animals safe in the event this natural disaster occurs.
While it is important to make sure other family members are cared for during a natural disaster, it is equally important to ensure your pet’s health and safety. Central Veterinary Associates offers the following tips:
• Always bring your pets inside at the first sign or warning of a storm or a disaster. Never leave your pet outside by themselves.
• Make any and all preparations before disaster strikes. Make sure it includes a plan for pets as well as family members. If necessary, make advance reservations at a pet-friendly hotel or motel.
• Make sure your pet is up-to-date with vaccinations. Keep copies of your pet’s vaccination records with your pet’s belongings. Also keep any pictures or identification of your pet in a folder or sleeve where water cannot enter into it.
• Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags. The tags should have the pet’s name and your contact information.
• If you have not done so, have your pet microchipped. This makes it easier to track your pet in the event he or she gets lost or separated from you.
• Pack at least a 5-7 day supply of pet food and bottled water and a 2-week supply of medication with dosage instructions. Be sure to include a manual can opener in case there is no power, as well as food and water bowls.
• Be sure to include the following as well: an extra collar, leash or harness; a muzzle for dogs who may bite out of fear; a litter box, litter and a scoop (for cats); a cage carrier for smaller animals; comfort items, such as bedding, toys of pet treats; Latex gloves for handling waste; blankets or sheets to cover the cages; and a first-aid kit.
• Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event you and your family are evacuated. Do not leave them behind. To find the nearest evacuation shelter or center, go to www.nyc.gov. Check to see if these centers will allow pets. In the event you are unable to take care of your pet, designate a caregiver beforehand. Central Veterinary Associates offers pet boarding services for those who cannot find a caregiver or when local shelters will not accept pets.
“It is important that pets are kept safe during a catastrophic natural event,” said Dr. John Charos, Chief Operating Officer, Central Veterinary Associates. “Losing or being separated from your pet when disaster strikes can be heartbreaking. If you are unable to find your pet during the aftermath, be sure to contact your local shelter or emergency center.”
In addition to his duties at Central Veterinary Associates, Dr. Charos has led coordination efforts for the New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team and the Animal Planning Task Force.
CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays and for emergency situations and natural disasters. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.