After the Event
- Use caution allowing pets outdoors after the storm. Leash dogs and keep cats in a carrier. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets can become confused or lost. Downed power lines and reptiles in high water could present a danger.
- The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely.
- Animals should not be allowed to consume food or water which may have become contaminated. If you won't drink it, your pet shouldn't either.
- If the water supply is questionable, you can purify it.
- Avoid wild or stray animals. Call Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division at 954-359-1313 to handle stray animals.
Caring for Your Pets After a Storm
After the storm, your pets may be anxious and afraid. Try and comfort them. Speak calmly and take some time out to play with them. Doing so can help you in your recovery, as well.
A scared animal may react by biting or scratching. Handle animals carefully and calmly. Pets can become upset and react in unusual ways, such as spraying urine, defecating on floors or scratching/biting furnishings. These are normal behaviors after a traumatic event.
Since pets will need regular care and attention to help them calm down, try to leave pets with a family member, friend, veterinarian or boarding facility while you are cleaning up your home. Animals are naturally curious and could get injured if they are brought back to a damaged home.
Use toys, a blanket or favorite human's unsoiled clothing to comfort pets. Make sure pets are fed their usual diet and have plenty of fresh water.
If you become concerned about your pet’s behavior, seek advice from your veterinarian.
If You Lose a Pet
- Broward County Animal Care and Adoption officers and residents will bring many of the lost cats and dogs to the Broward County shelter after a hurricane. The shelter is located at:
1870 S.W. 39th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
You will be called by Animal Care & Adoption if they have your pet, providing that phones are operating and your pet has identification. Otherwise, you will need to visit the shelter. Call first for post-hurricane operating hours and information at 954-359-1313.
If You Find a Pet
If you find a dog or cat with a license tag or tattoo, you should:
- Visit broward.org/animal and select “Licensing Database.” This database contains more than 800,000 records of dogs and cats registered in Broward County since 2000. Search for the owner of a lost pet by using the pet's full or partial license tag or tattoo number.
- The licensing database searches for the owner's name, address, phone number and pet description. If the description of the animal matches the animal you have found, you should call the owner.
- If you do not have access to the Web, please call Broward County Animal Care & Adoption at 954-359-1313.
- Secure all food sources and remove any animal carcasses to avoid attracting rats.
- Residents should contact their city's Public Works Department regarding the removal of dead animals from public streets.
- Residents can call a private company to remove any dead animals on private property.
- For additional information regarding the removal of deceased animals, visit Broward County Animal Care & Adoption.
Updated October 2013