Monday, October 28, 2013

Disaster Relief and Shelter Pet Love with #HillsPet

As a Florida girl (at heart, if not by zip code right now) this time of year doesn't just mean pumpkin spice lattes and candles (although those things are terribly important!), it also means hurricane season. From the end of summer until about the time the holidays roll around, I spend more time than usual checking the weather to see just how crazy the rain is going to be that day, or if a major storm might be rolling in. Florida has been lucky for the past several years when it comes to avoiding being hit with devastating weather, but other parts of the country haven't been as lucky.

Jasper is pretty chill about thunderstorms, even though he's afraid of pretty much everything else. 

You guys have probably noticed that I've been doing several posts for Hill's lately, so I thought it was cool to find out that the Hill's Disaster Relief Program has done some impressive work assisting the residents of areas that have been hit pretty hard by natural disasters, such as the tornadoes that hit Joplin, MO (less than two hours from where I grew up!), Hurricanes Sandy, Isaac and Katrina, last year's wildfires in Colorado, and even the tsunami in Japan. The news naturally focuses on the human victims of these events, but they can also have dramatic effects on the pet populations. Shelters are often overrun with newly homeless or lost pets after a disaster, and pets who do remain with their owners can often need medical care or have trouble accessing food.

Truck unloading Science Diet Pet Food at Tulsa Humane Society, Tulsa, OK for the Moore, OK Community Relief.

Whether you live in an area that tends to attract crazy weather or not, taking a few steps to be prepared is always a good idea. For instance, I tend to start hurricane season out by making sure I have a small stock of food and water set aside in the pantry in case we do get a severe storm, so it's a simple extra step to just add a few days worth of cat necessities to my own supplies.

Here are a few other suggestions in being prepared for emergencies when it comes to your pets:

*Set aside at least three days' worth of food in a watertight container. I tend to go for a bit more than that - it takes up almost no extra room, and definitely adds peace of mind. Don't forget water for your pets, too!
*For cat owners, some kitty litter (also in a waterproof container, because... ewwww) is also a good idea to have on hand.
*Don't forget to set aside a few comfort items like toys or a favorite blanket! Those can be soothing to your pet in a stressful situation.
*If your pet regularly uses any kind of medication, you'll want to add that to the kit, too.
*If your pet doesn't usually wear a collar with ID tag, you may want to make sure they have one on if severe weather is coming - it can be a huge help in identifying them if they get lost.
*Also helpful for finding a lost pet is a current photo of them - telling people you're missing a black and white cat is one thing, but being able to show them exactly what he looks like is a thousand times better.

You can find more info on the Hill' Disaster Relief Network on their site! It's a part of the Hill's Food, Shelter and Love program, which has donated over $240 million worth of Science Diet to shelters across the country since 2002! Their theory is that healthy pets are generally going to get adopted quicker, so providing them with healthy food is a good place to start! They also offer food at a significant discount to the shelters they work with, as well as sending pets adopted from those shelters off to their new homes with a free bag of food!

For even more info, you can join in the #BlogPawsChat on Twitter tomorrow (Oct 29) from 8-10 pm Eastern! I'll be there!

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Science Diet for Cats, but I only share information that I feel is relevant to my readers. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.


Karen Hewitt said...

I love how they are helping with pets. They are often forgotten

Alaina Bullock said...

What a great post! Often times, people don't think about having back up emergency items for their pets, so I am glad you wrote this. I hate reading about all of the lost and displaced animals after bad breaks my heart1

Jen Temcio said...

wow this is such an important post! I hope that people see this so that they can prepare for their pets. I JUST read a post tonight about a cat that ran off from a bad storm and is lost now :( It happens a lot.

Debi Gerhart said...

This really is so important. I know people are the main focus during a disaster, but a fur momma I love to see people thinking of the pets too.