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N.C. Residents Urged to Take Pets with Them if Evacuating

All-time three-day rainfall record may cause flash floods in Cape Fear region

The Humane Society of the United States reminds residents of southeastern North Carolina to take their pets with them if they evacuate. Several days of heavy rainfall has created the potential for life-threatening flash flooding in the region.

Approximately 70 homes have been evacuated, and more residents may be asked to vacate the area as rain continues to fall. The HSUS has been in touch with shelters in the affected area to assess the potential impact on animals and offer assistance.

"It is crucial that residents are prepared to take pets with them when evacuating in the face of this potentially destructive flooding," advised Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. "If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets."

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. Pet owners should also have a pet emergency supply kit on hand at all times.

This emergency supply kit 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.

Additional information on disaster preparedness for farm animals can be found here.

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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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.