Pet Fire Safety
As the weather heats up in the Central Valley, the threat of fire season once again flares. In 2020, the Creek Fire sparked on September 4th and was only fully contained on December 24th, burning an unprecedented 379,895 acres. Over 45,000 Fresno and Madera residents were displaced as a result of this fire.
Partnering with Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT) and other local shelters/rescues, Valley Animal Center opened our doors to temporarily board pets of families who were displaced due to the fire and could not care for their pets during this tragedy.
Although we’d hate and do not wish for such another tragedy, we also acknowledge that fire season is making its way upon us, making it even more important to us that you have a fire safety plan for yourself and your pets! A fire only takes as little as 30 seconds to spark into a full raging flame that can’t be outrun. Whether you live in an area that is more susceptible to fires or not, it’s best to be informed on fire safety!
As CCADT says, “Do not wait until it’s too late! During a disaster is not the time to be caught without a plan! Create a written disaster plan now!”
(Photos of Valley Animal Center helping house animal companions during the Creek Fire tragedy.)
Below are some tips we have gathered to ensure the safety of your pets when a fire disaster strikes:
- Have an evacuation plan. Do you know the various routes you can take in and out of your neighborhood or city should a fire occur near you? Become familiar with your area and consciously make an evacuation travel route. When a disaster strikes, even if you’ve lived in the area your entire life, panic and anxiety may obstruct your thinking process. Have a plan ready and rehearsed. If you live with family, make sure everyone, even your children, are aware of what the safety plan is!
- Know where your pets hide when they’re scared and have carriers ready for all your pets. When disaster strikes, it’s not just you who might be frightened. Pets can often be more sensitive to danger and may go into hiding. Become familiar with your pet’s favorite hiding locations and have their carriers ready to put them into. The last thing you’d want is to worry where your pet is!
- Have proper ID on your pet. We recommend getting your pet microchipped as collar IDs can always fall off. If your pets wear collars, make sure your information is tagged or you can also simply write your contact number on their collar with a permanent marker. No matter how you choose to ID your pet, make sure the contact information is up to date. Need your pet microchipped? Our low-cost clinic offers walk-in microchipping. More info HERE.
- Away from home most of the day? Have a friend or family member who can evacuate your pet(s) in case of an emergency. This will require planning as you want it to be someone whom your pet has a familiar relationship with and who they can trust. Otherwise, your pets may perceive your friend or family member as a stranger and refuse to cooperate!
- Do your part in preventing fires in your own home! Always extinguish any open flames you have before leaving. Candles, fireplaces, the stovetop, you might think your pet won’t play with fire or hot things, but pets are curious beings! Just as how you wouldn’t leave a child home with an open flame, don’t leave your pet home with an open flame, even if it’s just five minutes!
Need help with animal evacuation or shelter in place care?
Visit CCADT’s website to see the resources available to you.
Valley Animal Center is dedicated to serving animal companions in the Central Valley and beyond. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We believe every animal deserves a loving family and furever home. Through our membership-based dog park and our low-cost clinic, we also provide local and accessible resources and services to the animal lovers and pet communities while rescuing animals in need from local animal control agencies. Donate to support our endless mission HERE.