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For Immediate Release                           Press Contact: Clair Lofthouse (806) 964-4777 ext. 107

Wildfire Danger Important Reminder of Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Santa Barbara, Calif., December 14, 2017 –In times of emergency, it is important to not only prepare your family for evacuation, but also keep in mind the safety of your pets, big and small. The Thomas Fire forced the evacuation of many animals from homes and ranches. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Humane Society has been able to house evacuated animals free of charge for the duration of the Thomas Fire.

The property currently holds 769 animals of all types from both voluntary and mandatory evacuation areas, as well as our adoption animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, geese, pheasants, bunnies, 309 exotic birds from Turtle Dreams and more are currently sheltered at the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

“The best way to protect your family and pets from a disaster is to have a plan in place,” said Randy Douglas, Santa Barbara Humane Society Board President. “Being prepared can save your pets’ lives. If you must evacuate, you need to evacuate your pets, too. If it’s not safe for you to stay behind, then it’s not safe to leave pets behind.”

With Santa Barbara County in the midst of a dangerous fire season, the Santa Barbara Humane Society would like to share some tips to help you prepare for a disaster:

  1. Make sure your pets are wearing current ID tags with your cell phone number in case they become lost or separated from you. It is also important to microchip your pets in case they are picked up by your local animal control agency and they don’t have their tags.
  2. Include provisions for your pet in your evacuation kit, such as food, water, a harness and leash, and carrier or crate with bedding. Also bring their medications, vaccination records, and a first aid kit.       If they eat canned food, don’t forget a can opener as well.
  3. Have a current photo and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case they get lost.
  4. Find a safe place to bring them ahead of time. The Santa Barbara Humane Society, located at 5399 Overpass Road, accepts pets in the event of a county-wide emergency. There are also lists of pet friendly hotels online at www.bringfido.com.
  5. When you evacuate, take your pets with you. Do not leave them behind – if it isn’t safe for you, it is not safe for your pet. It is better to evacuate early rather than waiting for a mandatory evacuation order. In some cases emergency officials will not allow you to go back for your pets if the danger is too great.
  6. If you own large animals such as horses or livestock, have a plan in place for how they will be evacuated and where they will go.       If you are unable to take all of your animals in an emergency, coordinate with County Animal Services for assistance. Their hotline number in an emergency is (805) 681-4332.

For more information about the Santa Barbara Humane Society adoptions, boarding, clinic and other services, visit www.sbhumanesociety.org, or call (805) 964-4777.

About Santa Barbara Humane Society
The Santa Barbara Humane Society is dedicated to the welfare of animals and strives to provide a safe haven for homeless dogs and cats until we are able to find forever homes for them. Since 1887, the Santa Barbara Humane Society has provided service to the people and animal populations of Santa Barbara County, and is proud to be one of the three oldest agencies in California dedicated to animal welfare. The Santa Barbara Humane Society occupies a five-acre site on Overpass Road, serving the community with a shelter, animal adoption services, a spay and neuter clinic, humane education center, boarding kennels, large animal holding center and corral, and inspection and rescue services. For more information, visit sbhumanesociety.org or call (805) 964-4777. Find Santa Barbara Humane Society on Facebook and Instagram.

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