We have been getting many calls from anxious pet owners about what to do with pets in the event of a major storm. The New Hanover Co. Emergency Management Team and area shelter directors have come up with a solution for providing care for pets AND their owners for the first time this year (2007).

After a state of emergency has been declared and/or a mandatory evacuation of low lying areas has been announced:

1. Noble Middle School will open as a co-shelter for owners and pets (cats and dogs) under 80 pounds. Pets cannot be left at that site unless their owners stay in that shelter with them even though they will be housed in separate sections away from each other. People without pets will go to one of the other shelters.


2. Animal Control will start taking pets only — until they are filled to capacity. Of course, various vets’ offices and private kennels will take animals for a fee but you can be sure they will fill up very fast.

There is a web site that lists motels and B&B’s that will accept pets with their owners. It lists all states, and cities and towns within each state, that have pet friendly places to stay. Of course, most have an added charge to bring an animal into the rooms but that is not unreasonable and some have a limit on the number and size of pets. You can click on the site below and start looking now.

Click on Lodge Listings, then US Lodging. Go to a pull down menu for the State of interest and then the City. This is handy for planning a vacation, but it could be vital for getting out of harms way.

Now, is also the time to be sure your pet’s vaccinations are in order and that you keep those records handy. It pretty much goes without saying, that you should have 3-5 days supply of food, water and medicine—but we’d advise a full week’s worth (or more) to be safe. And maybe THE most important item of all: A NAME TAG attached to your pet’s collar with your name, telephone number and address with your pet’s name on the top. All local pet stores sell them. A photograph of you and your pet is also a very helpful item.

You can call New Hanover County Animal Control at 798-7500 for further information about the county pet shelters and we will make every effort to update this information as we get it.