Caring for animals

Your animals are your responsibility so you need to plan ahead for their safety and welfare.

For more information about caring for your pets and animals in disasters, contact the RSPCA by phoning 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625). This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tips for pet owners

  • Have a pet carrier for each pet. Be sure it is large enough for your pet to stand up in, turn around and lie down. 
  • Record contact phone numbers and addresses of your vet and local animal welfare agencies (refer to the Household Emergency Plan).
  • Your dogs and cats need a current registration tag and microchip.
  • Keep a current photograph of your pet, in case it gets lost. 
  • If your pet has to be evacuated, consider safe relocation options. Refuge with family, friends or neighbours is the best option.
  • If you need to evacuate your home without your pet, bring it inside to a prepared 'safe' area, eg. the laundry or bathroom. Leave enough food and water as well as litter trays. Don't tie your pets up.
  • Don't leave animals in vehicles. 
  • Check with the Council's Animal Control unit or animal welfare agencies regarding missing animals.
  • Take care when releasing animals as they may be very disoriented, frightened or aggressive.

Tips for livestock owners

  • Develop a written disaster plan, including a list of relevant resources (eg. suppliers, trucks and trailers), evacuation sites, emergency phone numbers and contacts of who can help.
  • Animals can get jittery before a storm and may be easily spooked.
  • Identify food and water sources that do not rely on electricity that could be used during an emergency.
  • Familiarise yourself with several evacuation routes. Avoid routes likely to be travelled heavily.
  • Secure loose items around the property.
  • Wherever possible, evacuate livestock early.

Tips for helping wildlife

  • Handling wildlife requires special care - if possible leave it to trained handlers. Wildlife can hurt you and can transmit serious diseases.
  • Wildlife often appear passive - this is a sign of stress and can change suddenly to aggression and panic.
  • Never risk your own safety to attempt to rescue wildlife.