La Feria News

Pets Are People Too

Plan Now for Your Pet’s Care During a Tropical Storm

By now, just about every local and government emergency response agency has spelled out how to take care of your family should an unwelcome tropical storm pay the Rio Grande Valley a visit. In anticipation of the “Big One”, we should already have stores of emergency food, drinking water, a radio and a flashlight with batteries, and fuel in the gas tank of the family flivver among other things.

But, Hey! How about the family’s cuddly, little fuzz-balls?–Your family pets! Your faithful Poodle and neurotic cat; They are people, too! Or, going larger scale; How about your horses. pigs and lambs? Family pets of all sizes have become dependent on their human masters like any other member of the family. They have lost their innate, survival skills inherited or acquired in the woods and forests. So, it is up to us, their surrogate parents, to provide for them a safe, secure place to weather the storm.

The first step is to decide if the family will stay in the Valley or evacuate if the National Weather Service upgrades their Weather Watch to a full-blown Weather Warning. That means that a major tropical storm is headed directly for you address, and you have maybe 24 to 48 hours to make final preparations. That means that your final plans will now go into action.

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If the decision is to stay in the Valley and tough it out, you’ll need to gather enough food, water, and any medicines your pet is taking for at least a week. If the decision is to evacuate with the pets, it should be noted that not all motels and hotels along the road will accept animals in the rooms—check this out before leaving and make a reservation if you can.

If the decision is for the family to evacuate, and leave the pets behind, then immediately check out Valley animal shelters, pet motels and pet hotels for reservations beforehand.

Animal Hospitals and the various Humane Societies can be of help in locating a place to place your little fuzz-ball for safe keeping. Check the listings in the Yellow pages under Animal Shelter and Support Services and Pet Services.

LA FERIA NEWS checked with Friends of Animal Rescue on South Padre Island. They said their facility will be closed and evacuated. “We’re out of here,” they said. Their recommendation was to contact mid-Valley pet motels and rescue centers to see what they have available.

Whether the Valley is spared another Hurricane-free tropical storm season this year or not, it always pays to have all your plans in place should we get the unwanted, unwelcome Hurricane Warning from the Brownsville National Weather Service that we are in for it. So, now is the time to put into action your family plans should we need it.

Remember also that “pets are people too” in your plans. Think about your little bundles of joy, Fluffy, or Rover, or whoever. You’ll sleep a lot easier knowing the whole family is ready for whatever. Or, as the Marines always say: Semper Paratus!

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