Don’t forget your PET this bushfire season

Published on 6 December 2023

RSPCA Victoria and CFA are urging Victorians to include their pets as part of their Fire Ready plans as the state gears up for a potentially volatile summer.

As part of RSPCA Victoria’s guide to a Pet-Safe Summer, planning for potential emergency evacuation and knowing what you need for your pets is vital.

RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Prevention, Rebecca Cook, said planning ahead was the best way to prepare.

“Planning for emergencies is such a crucial part of life in Victoria particularly during the summer months,” Ms Cook said.

“Many people across the state already have a Fire Ready plan in place, and we’re urging everyone to make sure their pets are included too.

“Our guide, Don’t forget your PET looks at how to Prepare, Evacuate, and get Together again when the emergency is over.”

Key steps to prepare include:

  • Updating your contact details on microchips* and ID tags in case you and your pet are separated,
  • Store photos or scans on your phone or email of important documents like registration, microchip numbers, vaccination certificates, medication directions, and your local vet.
  • Create an emergency kit with documents, medication, food, water, bowls, bedding, and toileting supplies.
  • Identify possible pet shelters, establish an emergency guardian, and share your evacuation plan with someone you trust who can evacuate your pets if you’re not home.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said during high-risk bushfire days, be sure to keep your bushfire relocation kit for pets within easy reach so you are ready to leave early.

“It can take longer than you think to move your pets, so make sure you can transport them efficiently and have towels and woollen blankets on hand to protect them,” CO Heffernan said.

“Families should consider ahead of time whether their leave-early destination can accommodate pets, otherwise to have an alternative in mind.”

RSPCA Victoria’s step-by-step guide for including pets in your emergency planning, Don’t forget your PET is available online now.

* Go to petaddress.com.au to find which database your pet’s microchip is registered to.

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