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Evacuating with Pets

Local Sheltering

If the Naval Air Station Key West Commanding Officer orders an evacuation to local hurricane shelters, personnel with pets should arrange to board their pets with kennels, if possible. Otherwise, they should bring their pets, in their cage/kennel, with them when they report to the shelter.

Pets are not allowed in hurricane shelters nor are they allowed to remain in base housing during a sheltering event.

Caged pets will be housed in a designated pet shelter during the hurricane.

Out-of-Area Evacuation
From the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc.

The season for hurricane evacuation and moving is here. Whether you're moving or temporarily evacuating, traveling by air or by car, across the state or the country, you can - and should - take your pets with you. It will take only a little extra effort and planning.

As you prepare to leave your home, pack a "pet travel kit" with your pet's things. If you are traveling by air, be sure to make your pet's reservations well in advance. If traveling by car, never leave your pets unattended in a vehicle.

If you will be staying in a motel, make reservations in advance at animal-friendly facilities. Finding such a motel is easy. You can search the internet or check out travel books for pet-friendly accommodations. During emergencies, such as hurricane evacuation, most motels will accept pets if you have kennels for them. Upon arrival at your destination, if you need to board your pets, you can find kennels in the area on the internet or in the phone book yellow pages. If you lose your pet, immediately contact animal shelters in the area to provide your pet's description and your contact information so your pet can be returned to you if turned in to the shelter.

Your pets are part of your family and will adapt to your move or evacuation if you give them a chance. As stressful as moving or evacuating is, it is much less stressful for your pet than being left behind to fend for itself or being placed in an animal shelter hoping for a new family. Having a pet is a lifetime commitment.

If you need help preparing for a move with your pets or preparing your family's hurricane evacuation plan, contact the Florida Keys SPCA at 305-294-4857.

Pet Travel Kit

  • Sturdy kennel: Keep cats and small dogs in kennel while traveling; kennel may be lined with newspaper or "puppy house training pads" that can be thrown away in case of "accidents." A cardboard box is not a suitable kennel.
  • Identification, collar, tags and leash: Keep collar with tag on your pet at all times; tag should include your name, address and phone number; ideally a tag will have an alternate phone number; microchip provides permanent identification and is available at local veterinary clinics and the Florida Keys SPCA Animal Shelter on Stock Island.
  • Health papers: Vaccination record including rabies certificate; health certificate signed by vet within 10 days of travel is required if traveling across state lines.
  • Photos: Current photo of pets to help you locate them should they get lost
  • Food, water and dishes: One-week supply
  • Medication: Heartworm pills, flea preventive, prescription medications
  • Litter, litter box, scoop and plastic bags: For disposal of dog and cat waste
  • Bedding, toys, chew sticks, treats: Take your pet's favorite things
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