In 2008, Hurricane Ike separated thousands of pets from their owners, and countless others were forced to live without adequate or safe water, food, and medications. Here are three critical lessons learned from previous storms:
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET. Regardless of whether your pet is an inside or outside pet, it cannot find adequate protection from a hurricane, even if you have seen some miraculous exceptions on television.
CONFIRM YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT. Even if you use a pet sitter, pet resort, or animal clinic for boarding, you must identify a friend or family member who is willing to take care of your pets – if necessary -- each time you leave town. Most pet facilities are not wind-rated to withstand a category 4 or 5 hurricane, so your pet may need to be retrieved in case of a hurricane.
PREPARE NOW. Prepare an emergency kit with your pet’s vaccination records, proper identification, collars and leashes, and plenty of food, water, and medications. View ASPCA's thorough list at www.aspca.org.
Hurricane season comes each year, and all of our clients should understand Rover Oaks Pet Resort’s Hurricane Policy when leaving your pet with us. Based on our experience with two close calls and a direct hit by Ike, it is very important for clients to realize that facilities such as Rover Oaks Pet Resort are not constructed to withstand hurricane-force winds and tornadoes; therefore, they are not a safe shelter for your pets under those conditions. This is why we always ask for the name of an emergency contact person who can (a) be reached 24 hours a day, (b) make decisions regarding your pet, and (c) retrieve your pet in case of a threatening storm.
Here is our specific policy regarding evacuation:
If a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane is projected to make a possible landfall in the vicinity of the Houston/Galveston area, ALL Rover Oaks personnel and ALL customers' pets must be evacuated at least 1 day prior to the expected landfall. This will REQUIRE each pet owner or their designated emergency contact person to pick up their pet(s) from Rover Oaks at least 1 day prior to the expected landfall. Owners of pets that are not picked up will be charged a daily fee of $250 per pet to offset costs incurred by Rover Oaks to evacuate their pets and/or keep them safe. For a category 1 or category 2 hurricane, Rover Oaks will make a decision on evacuation following the advice of local authorities, after which we will contact our customers or their designated emergency contacts.
Please remember to confirm your emergency contact person each time you leave town. For Rover Oaks Pet Resort, the sole purpose of this policy is to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet and our employees.