Should severe weather or a disaster strike in Forsyth County, the Forsyth County
Animal Response Plan will be implemented. That plan, which calls for the activation
of a number of pet-friendly and emergency animal shelters, was developed by former Animal
Control Director Barbara Cassidy and a citizen task force. The Forsyth County Animal
Response Plan, which is incorporated in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency
Operations Plan for Multi-Hazards, has been recognized by the North Carolina State
Animal Response Team as the top animal response plan in North Carolina.
A county animal-response team (CART) is responsible for implementing the animal
response plan. This team consists of citizen volunteers and veterinarians committed
to helping animals in case of disaster by working at temporary pet shelters.
Our ability to help animals in a disaster will depend on the help of caring citizens
and professional volunteers. Hurricanes, floods, train derailments, explosions and other disasters are devastating
not only to us but also to our pets and livestock, who are frequently left helpless
when disaster strikes. Thank you for helping us to save animals lives.
By planning ahead you can save the lives of your animals. Here are some important
tips to remember:
- Develop an evacuation plan that includes your animals. Review it and update it regularly.
Learn the location of pet-friendly shelters and hotels and have a designated destination
if you have to leave home. Contact friends or relatives in advance to see if you
and your pets would be welcome during an emergency.
- Check on area boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals. Find out if they have evacuation
plans in event of a disaster.
- Be prepared to evacuate when advised by local government authorities. Have all supplies,
kits, transportation and evacuation locations ahead of time. If you are told to
evacuate, do not leave companion animals home alone. If the situation is bad enough
for you to leave, then your animals should not be left behind.
Prepare a pet emergency supply kit for your animals. The kit should include:
- Current photos of your animal for identification, including close ups of any special
- Proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations (be sure to keep all vaccinations
current on your pets).
- Supply of any medications your pet may be taking. It's also a good idea to have
a prescription for any medications your pets need in case you run out.
- Water bowls and bottled water for three days per animal.
- Food bowls and food for three days per animal.
- Spray disinfectant, paper towels and plastic trash bags to handle animal waste properly.
- Appropriate sized pet carrier or crate for each animal. Be sure to familiarize your
animal with the crate before a disaster. It will be a safe haven if you do evacuate.
- Towels, blankets, toys, brushes and combs.
- Old newspapers.
- Cat litter and disposable litter pans.
- Flashlight and radio with extra batteries for each.
For large animals, pack the following supplies:
- Halters, leads, tape, rope
- ID bands
- Fly spray
- Medical supplies, including bandages
- Three days' supply of food and water for each animal
If you decide to stay at home, please keep the following in mind:
- Bring companion animals indoors. Do not leave domestic pets outside or tied up.
- Prepare an area in the house where it's quiet and away from the windows.
- Pets will be most comfortable in carriers or crates.
- Let haltered livestock roam at large in fenced (not barbed wire) areas away from
possible flying debris (tins roofs can be deadly). Do not leave livestock in the
barn in case it collapses. Leaving a halter on the animal will facilitate capture
if they do break loose.