Emergency Planning for Pets
When evacuating the Parish, it is imperative that you take your pet with you. Do not leave your pet restrained outside. Animals left behind will most likely become victims of environmental exposure, starvation, drowning by floodwaters, predators, contaminated food and water, or accidents.
There are two approaches to evacuating with pets:
- Parish-assisted evacuation
If you have transportation and evacuating the Parish, make sure you have included your pet supplies in your emergency kit. In a sturdy, waterproof container, your emergency kit should include:
- Cat litter and a cat box if you have a cat
- Food and water for at least 3 days for each pet
- Identification records that includes:
- Medical records
- Photographs of your pet, include photos of distinguishable markings in case you and your pet become separated
- Rabies tag, which your pet should be wearing at all times
- Information of feeding schedules, behavior problems and name and number of your pet’s veterinarian
- Leashes, harnesses and pet carriers to transport pets safely. The carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand and move around. Your pet may be in a carrier for hours at a time
- Manual can opener
- Pet beds and toys to reduce any stress
- Plastic trash bags, grooming items, bleach, paper towels, newspaper
Boarding Your Pet
Now is a good time to locate pet friendly hotels and motels. Calling ahead of time for kenneling is also a good idea. There are several websites that can help you find pet-friendly lodging:
There are State designated shelters available for evacuees with pets, but they are on first come, first serve basis. They will fill quickly. Pet friendly shelters should be your last resort. You will be expected to care for your pet at these facilities. Please bring all necessary items (e.g. kennel, medication, food, cage, leashes, collar, litter box, etc.), which will allow you to provide proper care to your pet.
Since resources are limited, the Plaquemines Parish Animal Facility will not be able to house animals during an evacuation. Plaquemines Parish will not accept your pet if you are self-evacuating.
Parish-Assisted Evacuation - Including Residents with Pets
Hurricane Katrina brought attention to the plight of pets in a natural disaster as during that evacuation, authorities did not allow pets in shelters or rescue vehicles and forced owners to leave them behind with devastating results. In 2006, Louisiana passed a bill to aid local parishes and municipalities in evacuating people and their pets and provide shelter during a natural disaster.
From now on, if you need parish-assistance in evacuating, your pet is allowed to evacuate with you. We urge you to pre-register your pet by calling the Animal Control Department at 504-393-0215.
There are specific guidelines that you must adhere to during an evacuation:
Once a mandatory evacuation is called for, you and your pet are to go to the designated evacuation checkpoint, the Belle Chasse Auditorium. Your pet will be registered and identified with a temporary collar bearing your initials and your driver’s license or LA ID number. Pets will be transported to a pet evacuation shelter via animal transport.
You will also need to bring:
- Have copies of medical records, contact information for your veterinarian, a collar with pet tags, and photos available so they can be stored with your pet
- A one week supply of special food or medication that your pet needs
- A pet carrier - all dogs must be in a carrier. You will not be turned away if you don’t have a carrier, but your help in accommodating with a pet carrier will speed up the registration process and help keep your pet safe. If you don’t have the means to purchase a carrier for your cat, place the cat in a pillowcase and tie it at the end. Be sure to support the cat’s body weight while carrying.
- Try and have your pet micro chipped in advance for easy identification
There is no guarantee that you and your pet will be at the same location, so it is vitally important you have all of the items with you upon check-in at the Belle Chasse Auditorium.
Parish Pick Up Points
If you do not have transportation to evacuate to the Belle Chasse Auditorium, there will be a parish pick up points for those needing assistance with pet evacuations. Separate transportation will be provided for you and your pet. You must make sure you have with you:
- Current photos of your pets
- Enough food and water to last several days
- Leashes and/or harnesses
- Name and number of your veterinarian
- A pet carrier adequately sized for your pet
- Vaccination records, i.e. rabies
If you do need assistance getting to the Belle Chasse Auditorium, which is the designated evacuation checkpoint, please call Animal Control at 504-393-0215.
You can pre-register your pet by calling the Animal Control Department and you are encouraged to do so if you know you will need assistance.
End of Emergency
Once an emergency is declared over and the Parish has lifted the evacuation order, you and your pet will be returned to the Belle Chasse Auditorium where you will be reunited.
We cannot stress enough, the importance that you take your pets with you during an evacuation. If for any reason you are unable to take your pet with you, reach out to other family and friends and ask them to care for your pet for you.
As a last resort, shelter your pet at home and do the following:
- Allow your pet to freely roam the house; do not kennel or close off rooms
- Leave adequate water (i.e, bathtub full of water or the toilet seat up) and plenty dry pet food
- Let officials know that your pet will be sheltered at your home by calling Animal Control: 504-393-0215.
If your pet is lost at any time, please call local veterinary clinics, Plaquemines Parish Animal Control or the national lost pet hotline 1-900-535-1515.