June 1 through November 30 is hurricane season. We urge all pet owners to include pets in their disaster planning. Indian River County has made it possible for you to evacuate with your pet.
Indian River County has designated Liberty Magnet School at 6850 81st Street in Vero Beach as the county’s pet-friendly evacuation shelter. The Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County has accepted the responsibility of helping manage this shelter.
“In the past when a hurricane threatened, families with pets had very few choices,” observes Ilka Daniel, HSVB&IRC’s Director of Protective Services. “ When ordered to evacuate, pet owners typically would either flee the county with their pets in tow or sought refuge for themselves and their pets with friends living in non-evacuation areas.
Activating a pet-friendly shelter is a responsible alternative that enables entire families, pets and all, to safely remain together in times of disaster.
As with other evacuation shelters in the county, the pet-friendly shelter should be considered as “a shelter of last resort,” according to Daniel. We would like for you to consider other alternatives before you decide on the pet-friendly shelter.
To qualify for using the pet-friendly shelter, evacuees must meet certain requirements. First, they must reside in a mandatory evacuation area. Next, they must bring with them an animal crate large enough to comfortably accommodate bedding, a litter pan, and food/water. Finally, they are required to show proof of a current rabies vaccination and a county license for their pet, if applicable.
“Space in the pet-friendly shelter will be on a first-come-first-served basis,” says Etta LoPresti, Indian River County Emergency Management Coordinator. Completing the registration form prior to your arrival will make the check-in process easier and more efficient. If you have any questions, contact Ilka Daniel at www.hsvb.org or 772-571-6408.