Prepare for and keep your animals safe during an emergency.

Disaster and Alerts

Emergency planning for pets is an important part of emergency household preparations. Planning ahead is critical and greatly increases the likelihood of evacuating your pets to safety.

Unfortunately, in emergency situations, pet owners often have no choice but to leave their pets behind because they have not considered them in their evacuation plans. That’s why it’s important to take the time to prepare now to ensure the safety of your family and your pets.

Please see our Disaster Management Plans page here to learn more about keeping your pet safe in an emergency.

Disaster and Alerts FAQs

If you’re a drought-affected farmer who needs help caring for your animals, please reach out for support. RSPCA NSW attend many jobs involving drought-affected stock across the state, every day. Usually, our inspectors initially attend with the assistance of district vets from Local Land Services (LLS) who then assess the stock and determine the best course of action.

RSPCA NSW works closely with many farmers, assisting with stock management plans, advice and support, including providing connections to farmers for veterinarians and mental health assistance, sourcing feed, assisting in destocking, manning stock welfare panels and fundraising. In some more serious cases, a Stock Welfare Panel is formed, made up of people from RSPCA NSW, the Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services and farmers to determine the best course of action looking forward and provide the necessary support and guidance.

Thank you for looking out for this animal. If you find an injured animal, please call RSPCA NSW, Animal Welfare League or the local police station to the animal’s location.

Legally, most volunteer organisations are not able to enter active fire or flood zones, but RSPCA NSW and Animal Welfare League are often able to assist in these situations as they receive proper training and equipment required to enter these zones during an active emergency. Please contact us on 1300 278 3589 so we can try to help this animal.

Please see our Lost Pet page here if you need assistance locating your missing pet.

RSPCA NSW recommends consulting the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency. You can also check with the SES for severe weather and flood information and the NSW Rural Fire Service for information about bushfires.

If you are currently being evacuated and do not have a Pet Emergency Plan, it is important to know that pets should not be abandoned unless it is absolutely impossible to safely evacuate them. When taking your pets with you in the case of evacuation, try to also take as many of the following pet items as you can before you leave the property:
• Registration certificates
• Vaccination certificates
• Cat litter and tray for cats
• Poo bags for dogs
• ID tags (including pets name and your mobile phone number), collars, leads etc.
• Food and water bowls, and at least one week’s supply of non-refrigerated food
• Pet medications and clear instructions for treatment of any medical conditions
• Pet blankets/bedding/nesting material
• A few of your pet’s toys

If you cannot evacuate or are forced to leave your pets behind, be sure to follow this advice:
• Do not tether pets (tie them up) as they will be unable to flee if danger is imminent.
• Provide food and water for at least one week in accessible places and in more than one container that can’t be tipped over.
• Ensure pets are properly identified (for example, a collar with an ID tag and microchip).
• Leave a note on the front door or on your mail box stating your mobile phone number, how many pets are located on the premises, their species, names and a photo.
• If you can, bring your pets inside. If you are home, shut your pets inside the house so they are close by and can exit with you once the danger has passed. If you have to leave pets behind alone, leave them in a safe, secure room. Ideally this room would have no windows and must have adequate air (like a big bathroom). Avoid rooms with hazards such as large windows, hanging plants or large picture frames.
• If you have to leave your pets outside, ensure there is plenty of water available from a source that does not rely on power or above-ground pipes. In a bushfire, move pets to a closely grazed or ploughed paddock with drinking water, steel fencing and preferably shade. In a severe storm (including hail), place pets under solid cover e.g. a shed or barn. Do not place synthetic blankets on your horses, as these may melt during extreme heat. Provide a minimum of five day’s food/hay or ensure access to pasture.

If you need further assistance, please contact NSW Emergency Services and they can assist you further and take the appropriate action to keep you and your pets safe.

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