If a disaster were to strike today, would you have a plan to save you and your animals?

15 February 2015

As the fourth anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake sadly approaches (22 February 2011) we are urging New Zealand pet owners to plan for their pets in a disaster now, with the launch of a new free online resource: protectyourpet.org.nz.

The Christchurch Earthquake is unfortunately only one example of how a disaster can happen quickly, without warning; creating destruction and the tragic loss of life. The time to make a disaster plan to keep your family and pets safe is therefore now. 

By visiting protectyourpet.org.nz New Zealand pet owners can download free disaster planning packs, with simple and practical advice to help them plan for their pet in a disaster - whether they have dogs, cats, small animals (rats, mice and guinea pigs), rabbits, fish, birds, horses or Assistance/Guide Dogs.

50 years of protecting animals from disasters

World Animal Protection has created these disaster packs for Kiwi pet owners, drawing on its 50 years of global work, in-the-field, protecting animals from disasters. Whilst working with communities, individuals and governments around the world to help their animals, we have seen many people put themselves at risk by refusing to evacuate without their animals. 

Through our experience, we know that disaster plans for animals can save not only the lives of animals but also the lives of pet owners.

Disasters can and do happen in New Zealand

“Pets are part of our family in New Zealand, just like animals are part of families and communities around the world, and under current New Zealand animal welfare legislation, it is also the owner’s responsibility to keep their animals safe in a disaster, says Bridget Vercoe, New Zealand Country Director at World Animal Protection. 

“Please don’t underestimate the importance of making a disaster plan for your family and its pets now. By doing so, we know that you could ultimately save precious time in a disaster and as a result, potentially end up saving the precious life of your entire family” concludes Ms Vercoe. 

Prepare for a disaster now at protectyourpet.org.nz or prepare to potentially lose your pet forever.

The free online resource - protectyourpet.org.nz. - has been developed by World Animal Protection in conjunction with the Ministry for Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Ministry for Primary Industries, Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, New Zealand Veterinary Association and other agencies in the National Animal Welfare Emergency Management Advisory Group (NAWEM). NAWEM is formally recognised by the New Zealand Government as a cluster of agencies whose purpose is to provide advice on animal welfare emergency management in New Zealand.

“Please don’t underestimate the importance of making a disaster plan for your family and its pets now. By doing so, we know that you could ultimately save precious time in a disaster and as a result, potentially end up saving the precious life of your entire family”
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