Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Storm

Pittsylvania Co., VA - As people bunker down for the storm, many are making sure their family members are prepared, but what about their pets?

Experts in Pittsylvania County have a few tips that may help keep your animals safe during the storm.

From household pets to livestock, people need to think of their pets as they put together their emergency plans.

Food, water and shelter are key, but experts say having emergency kits on hand and keeping your pets as near to you as possible can make all the difference during a natural disaster.

Everything from rabbits to roosters can be found on Pattie Owens' farm in Pittsylvania County. But as Hurricane Sandy approaches, her top priority is keeping them safe.

"We will start putting up plastic and moving animals under shelters where the wind will not have as much effect on them," said Owen.

Owen says it is important to make sure animals that are usually kept outside have proper shelter from wind and the possibility of flood waters. Also, adequate amounts of food and fresh water are important in case you find yourself stuck for several days.

"You need to have it on hand. You don't want to have to go and search for it once the weather hits."

"I personally have a 72 hour emergency kit for each of my pets in case I have to evacuate," said Paulette Dean, executive director of the Danville Humane Society.

Dean says keeping household pets close by will help them stay calm during tense moments.

"The safest place for any pets during whether like this is wherever you are."

Having important documents related to your animal's health is also essential if you must leave your home.

"Keep records with you copies of their rabies certificates, plus medication," said Dean.

Protecting your family is key, but Owen says care-takers must remember it is their responsibility to keep their animals safe.

"If you're going to be an animal owner, you need to be aware of what you need to do to protect that animal. You need to know it's going to be in a safe place just like you're going to be in a safe place," she said.

The Southeastern Farriers and Horse Owners Association provides a link to additional tips and advice if you have larger animals like horses and cows.