August 30, 2008–Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal released information about evacuations from the State as Hurricane Gustav approaches. Having learned from Katrina, government officials are encouraging residents to take their pets with them when they evacuate. Here is important information regarding pet evacuations:
A pet evacuation center for residents with critical transportation needs will be open in Shreveport in accordance with the timeline set by the local parish OEP officials. It is only for evacuees with critical transportation needs, and those residents are instructed to coordinate with their local OEP offices to arrange transportation for themselves and their pets to the shelter.
Pets under 15 pounds that are carried in a pet carrier will be allowed to travel with their owners on the bus transports (soft-sided carriers are preferred). Larger pets will be placed in size-appropriate pet carriers and bussed separately from their owners to the pet/owner shelter.
Other shelters for self-evacuators for pets and owners will open as storm and evacuation conditions dictate. Pets must have proper identification – preferably something permanent like a microchip or tattoo. Dogs and cats need to have proof of annual rabies and other vaccinations. It’s also very important to have collars, leashes, harnesses and kennels for confining animals when necessary. Muzzles may be appropriate for animals that are apprehensive in unfamiliar settings. Pet owners should bring at least a three-day supply of food, water and medications for their animals.