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Q: With all of the new concerns regarding disaster planning for families, what can I do to assure my pet is safe?

A: The best way to protect your pet is to include them in a disaster plan. In the event of a disaster where you need to evacuate, it is best to try to take your pets, too.

Most human shelters do not accept animals unless they are service animals. You should contact hotels and motels to see which of them accepts pets. Keep a list of those pet-friendly places along with their phone numbers.

You should gather essential pet supplies to take with you. Keep them easily accessible and portable. Your supply kit should include medications, medical records, leashes, carriers, current photo, food, water, litter and litter pan.

Make sure your pets are well identified with a collar, tags or microchip.

If your pet does become lost during a disaster, visit shelters and animal control facilities daily. Post photos of your pet and place calls to local veterinarians. As much as you love your pet, never put yourself or others at risk if your pet is in need of rescue. Contact your local emergency authority for their assistance.

Prepared as a public service by the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society. Send questions to Pets, P.O. Box 1252, Buffalo, N.Y. 14205 or to the Web site at Sorry, personal replies cannot be provided.

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