Disaster preparedness 101 for pet owners

New Delhi (IANSlife) Since 2020 when the pandemic struck the world, we’ve been living in a lot of uncertainty. With people trying to reach their native places and losing jobs, globally people have been struggling to make ends meet and keep their near and dear ones safe, pet parents alike.

Instead of abandoning their furry friends in the challenging times, they went above and beyond to take care of them. While people were getting back to their normal lives with easing restrictions, another unprecedented tragedy takes over the world, the Russia-Ukraine war. The unfolding humanitarian crisis has not only wreaked havoc on lives and livelihoods but also on numerous pet owners.

Faizal Islam, Co-founder, Carry My Pet, shares how a pet owners can prepare to relocate with their furry friends during emergencies:

The pet dilemma!

Whether it is from war zones, natural disasters, or otherwise, the basic procedure to relocate pets is similar. However, every country has different sets of rules and policies around it, with some of them being really strict. Life is unpredictable; therefore, one must be prepared for the worst instead of getting nervous and panicking in troubling situations. Several pet relocation companies aid pet parents in safe and easy transportation. However, some basic preparation beforehand will make the process simpler, faster, and more convenient.

Keep all relevant documents and emergency contacts ready

To begin with, you can keep all necessary documents, ranging from the owners’ passports to the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from an authorized person, in place. The NOC can either be applied by the pet’s owner or the agency they hire. Keeping some emergency contact information handy is beneficial too and can lead to less chaos and confusion when relocating. The pet owners must have contact numbers of supply stores and veterinarians in the country they are residing in. Additionally, having the operational emergency contact of the Indian Embassy is crucial. They must also have the address in case communication systems are affected, and there is a need to go and contact the authorities physically.

Updated pets vaccination books are crucial

No matter the country, having an updated pet vaccination book is necessary. Therefore, to avoid the last-minute hassles, especially during tough times, it is better to update it regularly. Getting your pets vaccinated on time and keeping the record straight helps pet parents.

Check microchip status

Each pet is identified by a microchip containing 15 digits that should comply with ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785. There is no other way of identifying a pet. Therefore, make sure that the microchip is in place, and if it is, check if the microchip scanner can read the unique number.

Ensure enough food supplies & medicines

There is no way of knowing how long unforeseeable events like war or other disasters will last. In such a scenario, it’s imperative to arrange enough food supplies for the pets. In addition to it, the pet parents must have basic medication for them. Why? Because like humans, pets too get anxious in such distraught situations and might behave differently. Therefore, medicines that help them calm down are essential for your emergency kit.

Arrange a pet crate

If the pet parents are contacting a relocation agency, there is a high possibility that they will have their own pet crates. However, it will be better for the owners to have an IATA-certified pet crate of their own to avoid last-minute issues and safe relocation.

Notify the Indian Embassy

As mentioned, it is crucial for pet parents to have the contact details of the Indian Embassy in the country they are residing in. As soon as the situation demands evacuation, they must contact the Embassy and stay in constant touch with them for a smoother process. It will help them remain calm as there will be other challenges too.

Inform the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (ACQS) office in India

The NOC is one of the most documents when it comes to relocating to any country. The Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS) helps the pet owners to get an advanced NOC from government authorities, without which the airline wouldn’t lift the pets (dogs & cats). The pet parents must have the department’s contact details, inform them at the earliest about the situation and give them the pet details.

Find the best way to exit the country

Depending on the distance and the worsening situation, the pet owners must figure out alternate options to exit the country, except the obvious ones. Knowing the route and mode of transport will aid them in preparing themselves better. The least they would want to do in an already distressing situation is get anxious even more.

For pet parents, their four-legged friends are family. While there are protocols in place, it’s always better to have your own to-do list and keep checking every task, especially for circumstances that can change overnight.

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