Disaster Preparedness 101 for Pet Owners

N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE

New Delhi – Since 2020 when the pandemic hit the world, we have been living with great uncertainty. As people attempt to return to their places of origin and lose their jobs, people around the world are struggling to make ends meet and protect their loved ones and loved ones, pet parents alike .

Instead of abandoning their furry friends in tough times, they went above and beyond to take care of them. As people returned to normal life with the easing of restrictions, another unprecedented tragedy descended on the world, the Russian-Ukrainian war. The unfolding humanitarian crisis has not only taken a toll on lives and livelihoods, but also on many pet owners.

Faizal Islam, co-founder of Carry My Pet, explains how pet owners can prepare to move in with their furry friends in an emergency:

The pet dilemma!

Whether in war zones, natural disasters, or otherwise, the basic procedure for moving pets is similar. However, each country has different sets of rules and policies, some of which are very strict. Life is unpredictable; therefore, one should prepare for the worst instead of getting nervous and panicking in troubling situations. Several pet relocation companies assist pet owners in safe and easy transportation. However, some basic preparation beforehand will make the process simpler, faster and more convenient.

Keep all relevant documents and emergency contacts ready

For starters, you can keep all the necessary documents, ranging from owners’ passports to an authorized person’s No Objection Certificate (NOC), in place. The NOC can be applied either by the owner of the animal or by the agency they hire. Keeping some emergency contact information handy is also beneficial and can lead to less chaos and confusion during the move. Pet owners should have contact numbers for supply stores and veterinarians in the country in which they reside. Additionally, it is crucial to have the operational emergency contact of the Indian Embassy. They must also have the address in case the communication systems are affected, and it is necessary to go and contact the authorities physically.

Up-to-date pet vaccination records are crucial

Regardless of the country, having an up-to-date vaccination record for pets is necessary. Therefore, to avoid last minute hassles, especially in difficult times, it is better to update it regularly. Getting your pets vaccinated on time and keeping the record straight helps pet owners.

Check chip status

Each pet is identified by a microchip containing 15 digits which must comply with ISO 11784 or Annex A of ISO 11785. There is no other way to identify a pet . Therefore, make sure the chip is in place and if so, check if the chip reader can read the unique number.

Make sure you have enough food and medicine

There is no way of knowing how long unpredictable events like war or other disasters will last. In such a scenario, it is imperative to provide enough food for the pets. In addition to this, the parents of the animal must have basic medicines for them. Why? Because, like humans, pets become anxious in such distressing situations and may behave differently. Therefore, medications that help them calm down are essential for your emergency kit.

Organize a Pet Crate

If the pet’s parents contact a relocation agency, chances are they have their own pet crates. However, it will be best for owners to have their own IATA certified pet crate to avoid last minute issues and safe relocation.

Inform the Indian Embassy

As mentioned, it is crucial that pet parents have the contact details of the Indian Embassy in the country in which they reside. As soon as the situation requires an evacuation, they should contact the embassy and stay in constant contact with them for a smoother process. . This will help them stay calm as there will be other challenges as well.

Inform the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (ACQS) office in India

The NOC is one of the most important documents when it comes to moving to any country. The Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS) helps pet owners obtain an advanced NOC from government authorities, without which the airline would not lift the animals (dogs and cats). The parents of the animal must have the contact details of the service, inform them as soon as possible of the situation and give them the contact details of the animal.

Find the best way to leave the country

Depending on the distance and the aggravation of the situation, pet owners must find other options for leaving the country, except for the most obvious. Knowing the route and mode of transportation will help them better prepare. The least they would want to do in an already distressing situation is to worry even more.

For pet owners, their four-legged friends are part of the family. While there are protocols in place, it’s always best to have your own to-do list and keep checking each task, especially for circumstances that can change overnight. (IANS)

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