New Zealand is a nation of pet owners and animal lovers, with the New Zealand companion animal population (pets) sitting at approximately 5 million compared to a mere 4.4 million for humans! (NZ Companion Animal Council Report 2011).
68% of Kiwi households own at least one pet which is a higher percentage than any other comparable country in the world. And 99% of pet owners associate their pets as being a member of their family. (Glassey, 2010).
Disaster Preparedness is vital – Vets can be part of that solution
One of the important lessons learned, after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, is that making sure pets are safe during a disaster can make it easier to rescue their owners.
Many victims of the flood refused to leave their pets behind, risking both human and animal life and disrupting mass rescue efforts as a whole.
Even though recent research, conducted by World Animal Protection, reveals that over 60%* of people stated that the loss of animals through disaster would be comparable to the loss of a family member of friend – relatively few people have actually made disaster plans which include their animals. This troubling trend could potentially result in owners putting their own safety (and others) at risk to rescue them. But instead, Vets could have a role in helping households, with pets, prepare for a disaster.
*Survey conducted in Brazil, Thailand, India and the USA by fast.MAP, London UK, December 2013.
Prepare for your pet in a disaster or be prepared to lose each other forever
By making a disaster plan for your family and pets, your pet may actually end up saving your life; as you and your pet will be well prepared to evacuate fast or stay put, with sufficient supplies when a disaster strikes. A plan will help stop delays or panicked wrong decisions that could end up putting your lives (and others) at risk.
In a disaster, things happen quickly and without warning. That is why the right time to make a disaster plan is now – before you and your pet could potentially lose each other, forever.
Please encourage all pet owners to make a Disaster Plan today.
Please download this flyer for your clients. This flyer has also been designed to fit into envelopes for ease of communication with your client base.