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Hurricane Season 2021: Pet Concerns

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CBS4's Eliott Rodriguez has more information on creating a disaster plan for your pets.

Video Transcript

CRAIG SETZER: Welcome back. When it comes to putting together a hurricane kit for your family, you need to include your pet in the plan. CBS 4 News anchor Eliott Rodriguez, a pet owner himself, addresses concerns that every pet owner needs to be aware of.

[LAUGHTER]

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: Whether you have a frisky feline--

[BIRD SINGING]

A singing canary, or a cool Goldendoodle, you need to prepare for hurricane season with your pet in mind.

CHERIE WACHTER: Just as you're preparing for your family and your kids, you need to include your pets in your hurricane plan.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: That's Cherie Wachter of the Humane Society of Broward County and her cats Zorro and Taraji. She's getting ready for storm season by stocking up on things like pet food early.

CHERIE WACHTER: If you're starting to prepare, maybe each time you go to the grocery store, you're picking up a few items, pick up a few extra cans of cat food. One thing I would recommend is make sure you get pop tops versus having to have a can opener. Last thing you need to do is evacuate and not be able to open those cans of food.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: Cherie also recommends a hurricane preparation kit for your pet. Make sure it has food and water to last two weeks, treats, medication and medical records, a sturdy leash, a litter box, and a pet carrier. Another tip-- have photos of your pet handy. That's my dog, Fred. He's also microchip and has a dog collar with my phone number on it.

My pet peeve as a pet owner is that a lot of people think, oh, the microchip-- that's going to guarantee I'm going to get my pet back. But I think it's almost as important or more important just to have a simple collar with a phone number and address on it.

CHERIE WACHTER: Absolutely. A caller with an ID tag is a visible sign of identification. It tells people, that pet has a problem.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: If the need comes to evacuate, you can find pet friendly shelters in both Miami-Dade and Broward, but they require registering before a storm hits.

How stressful could these situations be for your pets?

CHERIE WACHTER: I mean, for some pets-- you know, like my cat Zorro, nothing phases him. But other pets, they do get stressed very easily. So if your pet, you know, normally gets very stressed, you might want to talk to your veterinarian, possibly about prescribing something for them.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: Medication should be a last resort. Preparation is better. Cherie says it's the best way to protect our furry friends.

You're confident that they'll be safe during hurricane season?

CHERIE WACHTER: I know they'll be safe, because I would never leave them behind.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: So don't forget-- protect your pets and your peace of mind by planning early. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to get your pets' affairs in order during the chaos of an evacuation. Eliott Rodriguez, CBS 4 News.