Pet and livestock owners - special preparations

Animals left behind during a storm can be injured, lost or killed. Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents.

Make sure you consider the safety of pets and livestock as you prepare for a storm. Make your plans early: know what to do well before the storm approaches.

If you must evacuates:

  1. If you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  2. Use caution allowing pets outdoors after the storm passes. Downed power lines and reptiles in high water could present danger.
  3. Don't allow your pets to roam loose; familiar landmarks and smells might be gone and can disorient your pet.
  4. Animals should not be allowed to consume food and water which may have become contaminated.
  5. Have a crate or carrier large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
  6. Be sure to arrange a head of time a place for your pet to go whether it is a friend / family's house; a pet-friendly motel / hotel; a private kennel; or a pet-friendly shelter.
  7. You MUST be pre-registered for a pet-friendly shelter. Call the Humane Society of Broward County at (954) 989-3977 for more information.

If you remain home during the storm:

  1. Keep a supply of newspapers in the bathroom, utility room or enclosed garage for pet's sanitary needs.
  2. Have sufficient drinking water to last two weeks, and a two week supply of food.
  3. Be sure to use waterproof containers to store these items that would get damaged if wet:
    • Water and food dishes
    • Toys and/or blanket
    • Treats
    • Emergency phone numbers for veterinarians, animal shelters, and friends/relatives
    • Photo of the pet (to prove you are the owner)
    • Veterinary records with rabies certificate and current license tag number
    • Medications with instructions
    • Cleaning supplies (newspapers, plastic bags, disinfectant)
    • Pet first aid book with kit

Special pet needs:

  • Your pets should be wearing up-to-date identification at all times.
  • Bring all pets indoors; never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Keep pets insight since the noise of the storm can be frightening to them
  • Never tranquilize your pet; they need their survival instincts.
  • Tropical Fish: The aeration pump in tanks will go off if there is a power outage; some tanks have adapters so pumps can be operated by battery.
  • Birds: Transport and keep bird in a cage in a quiet area.
  • Small Mammals: Transport and keep hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, ferrets, and other small mammals in a cage or carrier.
  • Reptiles: A pillowcase makes an excellent transport carrier for reptiles. Immediately transfer the reptile to a more secure cage after transport. Remember to bring a hot rock or similar heating equipment.

If your pet is lost, or if you find a pet:

Many lost cats and dogs will be brought to Broward County shelters after a hurricane. Call (954) 359-1313 for more information. If you find a cat or dog with a license tag or tattoo, you can search for the owner by visiting or call (954) 359-1313.

If you find a deceased animal, remember that the Broward County Animal Care Division will not be able to assist with removal immediately after the storm, as they will be in recovery mode. Call a private animal removal services in the Yellow Pages. Once normal operations resume, call Animal Care at (954) 359-1313, ext. 400.

If you own livestock...

Register with Broward County's Large Animal Disaster Planning Committee (LADC) at

If you choose to shelter large animals in a barn or shed and make sure they are in the groupings with which they are familiar. Assess the storm-worthiness of your stable or barn and reinforce house, barn and outbuildings with hurricane straps if necessary.

If you choose to leave large animals outside make sure they have room to move (at least 1/4-1/2 acre per animal), fences are strong and are not barbed-wire, there are no overhead power lines or poles, and debris is removed.

Identify your livestock well in at least three forms:

  1. spray your phone number in acrylic paint on the side; attach a fetlock or mare band.
  2. place information in a waterproof luggage tag and braid it into the mane or tail.
  3. attach information to the halter; tattoo or an electronic chip.

Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris. Work with your neighbors to remove as much debris as possible from surrounding property.

BSO Hurricane Guide Main Page
Be aware of approaching storms
Hurricane supplies
Installing hurricane shutters
As the storm approaches
Should you evacuate?
Staying safe during the hurricane
After the storm has safely passed
Generator safety
Price gouging
Snapshot Damage Assessment Program
More information
List of Broward County hurricane shelters

Other helpful information from Broward County:

For a complete list of Broward County services, please click here to view The Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Staying Safe Main Page

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