Popular Science

What to do with your pet if you need to evacuate

Leaving them behind could be disastrous.
sad dog

Would you be able to leave your pet behind in an emergency?

Does the thought of leaving your pet behind in an evacuation keep you up at night? If so, you’re not alone. A recent paper in the American Journal of Public Health highlights how neglecting steps for evacuating animals, thereby forcing people to leave their pets behind, can have serious public health consequences for the pet owners—and for everybody else.

If you're thinking of sticking it out with your pets instead of evacuating, you aren’t the only one. Study author Robin Chadwin, a veterinarian and associate at the UC Davis International Animal Welfare Training Institute, cites where 16.2 percent of participants (largely lower class and elderly) said that they would not evacuate without their pets. And 8.1 percent said they would stay at home with their pets during an evacuation. Another study found that 44 percent of people who refused to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina did so in part because they refused to leave their pets behind.

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