Pet Shelter Information
In a hurricane pets are subject to the same hazards as people and have many of the same needs. Remember, you cannot bring your pets to the shelter and you may be away from home for a number of days. The best plan is to identify a safe location to evacuate to that allows pets, such as a friend’s home or a pet friendly hotel. You can check the internet for sites such as www.pethotelsofamerica.com to find a hotel outside the evacuation area.
Lee County has one Pet Friendly Shelter at South Fort Myers High School which will shelter dogs and cats only. Lee County Animal Services (www.leelostpets.com) manages this shelter. The Pet Shelter is first come/first served. No pre-registration is required or allowed. Use of this shelter is restricted to persons living in an area that is currently under evacuation.
You must shelter at the school with your pet (in other words, you cannot drop your pet at the school and shelter elsewhere). The pets will be sheltered in a separate location at the school from the pet owners. Owners will be responsible for feeding, exercising and cleaning up behind their pets.
Your pets will need a Hurricane Disaster Kit, too. Include water, non-perishable food, medications and cleanup supplies to keep your pets healthy, clean and free of parasites. Keep a sturdy cage or carrier to comfortably hold your pet, as well as a collar and leash. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and keep a copy of the records with you, as well as a few good photos in case you get separated. Be sure identification tags are on the collars. Talk to your veterinarian about microchip identification for your pets.
- Never leave your pets outside during a storm.
- Never leave a cat with a dog, even if the two are normally friends.
- Confine and keep small pets (birds, hamsters, etc.) away from cats and dogs.
- Dangerous animals should be secured in special crates or cages.
- Any unsecured animals posing a danger will be at risk of being destroyed.
All animal facilities in the path of a hurricane are subject to some degree of damage or flooding. Keep in mind, boarding kennels and animal hospitals may be without electricity or potable water and have limited personnel and supplies for days to weeks following a disaster.
Call Lee County Animal Services at (239) 533-7387 for more information on the Pet Friendly Shelter.