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Customer Stories and Helpful Advice About Ducks & Geese

Excellent Advice Prior to an Evacuation

We are experiencing some early wildfires in Santa Barbara CA so I thought I would remind folks of some things to keep in mind when evacuating your animals from any disaster. Geese are not your typical cat/dog pet.

Get your animals ready ahead of time, before the mandatory evacuation notice comes, by assembling your transport cages, animal food, medications, and label your cages with as much information as possible - your contact information, animal needs - i.e. special diet, meds, etc.

Evacuate when the order is given. Don't give the fire department headaches and make them have to rush to evacuate you and your animals when they should be fighting the fire.

Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, and vet, now and hopefully not during a disaster, and ask if they have a policy in place as to handling animals during an evacuation like geese and ducks and any other pets you have that are not the standard cats and dogs. Some do not. If so, call your city/county officials and ask that a disaster plan for animals be drafted in cooperation with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross houses people, not animals, but with mutual cooperation with animal control, sometimes both human and pets can be sheltered at the same general location. I've run Red Cross shelters where we only have humans allowed and ones where the pets are in the room next door to the humans. We can't house them in the same room for a variety of reasons: allergies, sanitation, noise, etc. At most Red Cross shelters you can sleep in your vehicle in the parking lot with your pet and use the shelter for toileting, eating, showering and gathering information.

Make sure you have enough cages/containers for your pets even if you can't transport them all in your own vehicle in one trip. Don't count on whatever facility you take them to to have enough cages. Try to supply your own.

If you have large animals like horses, cattle, goats, sheep, buffalo, etc. get the phone number of the large animal evacuation team, if one is in your area, and keep it on the phone or refrigerator always. Get a piece of duct tape and write your information on it and tape it to your horse's butt if you are not going to be staying at the same place. Sounds funny, but halters come off, especially on freaked out horses, but I've never seen a horse lose its butt.

Tip: duck/goose ponds and pools are a great place to stash things like your crystal, china, and anything else that wouldn't be damaged by being in the water as fire will destroy and melt those things in your house. That's where we put all our dishes when we had a fire many years ago. It worked great.

Good luck and I hope no one has to ever evacuate, but be prepared.

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