Are you and your pets prepared for an emergency?

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, in partnership with the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, would like to remind you to have an emergency plan that includes your furry family members. Take time to put together an emergency escape route and emergency survival kit containing everything your family, including your pets, will need to get through the first 72 hours of an emergency.

Emergency Preparedness 72-Hour Survival Kit

Take the time to put together a survival kit containing everything you, your family and your pets will need in the first 72 hours of an emergency. You should check your emergency kit twice a year and update it as necessary.


Emergency Preparedness Q&As

What should your pet’s emergency kit contain? 

Some items that should be in your pet’s survival kit include:  

  • 72- hour food and water supply, including bowls and a can opener  
  • Blankets/towels  
  • Toys 
  • Medications and a pet first aid kit  
  • Pet carrier to allow for easy transport  
  • Leash, muzzle, harness  
  • Litter pan, litter, plastic bags and scooper if you have a cat  
  • ID tags and microchip number  
  • Medical records, veterinarian’s name and contact number  
  • Current photo of your pet along with their name, address and brief description  
  • Information on your pet’s feeding schedule, temperament/behavior, medical concerns  
  • List of boarding facilities, hotels that can accommodate pets   

complete 72hr kit

Should people have an evacuation plan for their pets? 

The Ontario SPCA recommends developing a family emergency response plan. This includes setting a primary and alternative meeting point away from the home in case of evacuation, listing emergency telephone numbers where all family members can find them (including the name and number of your pet’s veterinarian) and putting together a family emergency survival kit, including a kit for your pets. Be sure to include your pet in any local or family emergency drills and exercises. 

Where should people take their pets if they need to evacuate? 

The Ontario SPCA urges pet caregivers to have an evacuation plan in place to ensure that you have a safe place to take your pet, and a method to transport them to safety. Ask about your municipality’s evacuation centre locations and pet policies relating to evacuation. Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area and check their policy on accepting pets during an emergency. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they could shelter your pets during an emergency.  

You should also create a pet emergency survival kit for quick and easy access in the event of an evacuation.

What if you must leave your pets behind when you evacuate? 

If it’s too dangerous for you to stay, it’s too dangerous for your pet to stay. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you. They could be lost, injured or killed in a disaster. You also have no way of knowing if, or when, you will be able to return for your pets. Have a plan in place to evacuate all of you, including your pets.  

Evacuate early if you are aware of an impending emergency, such as a natural disaster like a storm. Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders, which can make it more difficult to evacuate with pets. Evacuating before conditions become severe keeps everyone safer and reduces stress levels.   

What happens if an emergency happens when you aren’t home with your pets? 

If an emergency occurs when you are not at home, you can still be prepared. As part of your emergency planning, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society encourages anyone with a pet to post an emergency decal on their front door to make first responders aware that there are pets inside the home. 

You can also set up a buddy system with a neighbour. Make arrangements that in the event of an emergency, if you are not home they will take care of your pet.  

What if you become separated from your pet in an emergency? 

Ensure your dog or cat is wearing a collar with an identification tag, ideally with your phone number or the number of a relative outside of your area in case you have evacuated and can’t be reached by phone. It’s also important to have your pet microchipped and to keep microchip information up-to-date to help increase the chances of you being reunited in an emergency.   

We also encourage pet parents to have a current photo of their pet along with their name, address and a brief description in case you need to claim your pet or share information about your lost pet.  


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Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!