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In the event of any natural disaster it is important to have a plan of action, when you are faced with the threat of fire. Following these important strategies will give you the best chance of keeping your pets safe and that you will be reunited with should you somehow get separated.

Relocate

On high risk days, plan to relocate to a low risk area or leave your pets with family or friends living in low risk areas. Make arrangements at boarding facilities for dog/cat/rabbit/guinea pig day-care or alternatively, if your workplace will allow it, take your pet to work with you. On high risk days, do not let your pets out unsupervised, as they may take fright and run away. If you choose to keep your pet with you and remain at home confine them to a safe area in the house such as the laundry.
If people are evacuated during the fire season, Animal Aid recommends that they keep their dogs and small caged animals with them wherever possible. However, we recommend that they place cats in emergency accommodation at a shelter, boarding cattery or veterinary clinic. This is due to the difficulties in containing cats and the owner's ability to provide them with a good quality of life while confined in a carrying cage.

Pet I.D

It is important to have your pets microchipped and registered with your Council which will provide you with the best chance of being reunited as this form of identification cannot be removed or misplaced. If your animals are microchipped, then you must ensure that your contact details, particularly your mobile phone number and second contact, are current. With Council registration, your animal must wear their tag whenever off your property. During bushfires, telephone poles burn and landlines become inoperative; which means that your mobile phone is the best form of contact. To check your pets microchip details visit Central Animal Records at www.car.com.au (phone 03 9706 3187) or the Australian Animal Registry at www.aar.org.au (phone 02 9704 1450).

Vaccinate

Ensure that your pets' vaccinations are up to date and keep a copy of their vaccination certificate and any medical records in your pre-packed emergency kit. If you should need to house a pet in emergency accommodation, or a boarding facility you will need to provide proof of current vaccinations to these organizations before admission. Dogs are required to have a C5 vaccination and cats a F3 vaccination.


Animal Aid played a large part in the many lives that were affected by the Black Saturday Fires. With the knowledge that many other natural disasters could affect our local area, Animal Aid is ready to assist.

Other useful sources of information for disaster planning for animals include:

General Disaster Planning Information is available at:

Emergency Contact Numbers:

  • Victorian State Emergency Service 132 500
  • Emergency Services (Ambulance, Fire and Police) – 000

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