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Remember Your Pets if You're Getting Out of Earl's Way

Residents in path of Hurricane Earl urged to include animals in disaster plans

The Humane Society of the United States reminds coastal residents from the Carolinas to Maine to take their pets with them if they evacuate. Hurricane Earl is expected to race along the East coast from North Carolina to Canada beginning Friday and continuing into the Labor Day weekend. Coastal residents should be prepared to take their pets with them if asked to evacuate.

"It is crucial that residents are prepared to take pets with them when evacuating in the face of this potentially destructive storm," advised Laura Bevan, Eastern regional director for The HSUS. "If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets."

The exact impact of Hurricane Earl is unknown at this time, but the storm could result in high winds, heavy rainfall and possible flooding along the East coast.

Pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes the safety of their animals, and always be informed about the potential for evacuation in their area. They should also prepare an emergency supply kit, which should include:

• Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.

• Bowls for food and water.

• Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.

• Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.

• Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.

• Small garbage bags.

• For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.

• For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.

Pet owners should be aware that many evacuation shelters do not accept pets, and they must plan their destination in advance. Hotels and motels may be willing to lift "no pet" restriction in an emergency. Friends and family members living outside the area may be able to provide shelter too. Please check with your local animal shelter or emergency management office to determine if a pet friendly emergency shelter will be set up in your location.

More than 358 million pets reside in 63 percent of American households. A Zogby International poll found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them. For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

 The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.