VANCOUVER, May 14, 2003 = Saturday May 17, 2003 is Emergency Animal Preparedness Day and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is recommending that people use this day to set up plans to deal with their pets’ safety in case an emergency arises.

"The recent tornadoes that struck the US Midwest and the devastation that they caused is a less than subtle reminder that life threatening disasters can occur very quickly and anywhere in the world," warns Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director.

"Pets and other animals need to be included in family emergency plans - including evacuation plans. In fact, our experience has shown that often people won’t leave their homes during a disaster unless they can take their pet with them," according to HSC Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan who has worked in disaster and war zones.

The Humane Society of Canada has developed a comprehensive plan called Protecting Your Family Pets Against A Terrorist Attack - and most of the same information can also be used to plan ahead for disasters. A copy of the plan can be found here.

The Humane Society of Canada has also developed several items that can help people ensure their pets’ safety during emergency situations including a first aid kit, animal emergency alert stickers, a disaster relief checklist as well as a wallet card.

According to HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan, "These items can save animal companions during natural emergencies such as tornadoes or emergency situations involving the pets’ guardian(s)."

HSC Animal Alert Stickers were created so that people with pets could put these stickers on the exterior doors of their homes. The stickers alert rescue personnel that animals are inside the house who need help if their guardians cannot get home to them.

The HSC Disaster Relief Checklist helps people plan ahead for their pets’ needs in case disaster strikes. The HSC Special Wallet Card contains instructions as to who should be contacted to care for the animals should the animals’ human guardian not be able to do so personally.

The HSC First Aid Kit is another effective item that can save your pets if an emergency situation occurs. The well-stocked kit contains:

tweezers
magnifying glass
rescue sheet
latex gloves (1 pair)
hydrogen peroxide (bottle)
antibacterial topical ointment (tube)
instant cold pack
adhesive tape (roll)
sterile gauze pads (3)
sterile gauze (roll)
insect sting stop pads (8)
antiseptic towlettes (6)
antimicrobial handwipes (3)
elastic cling bandage
Q-Tip® cotton swabs (12)
antiseptic solution (bottle)
eyewash solution (bottle)
safety pins (medium size) (4)
tongue depressors (2)
penlight with batteries (2AA)
scissors
first aid booklet
money to make a phone call

According to O’Sullivan the kit was, "developed to assist pets and their human guardians in times of emergency. When your pet is hurt, time is critical. That’s why we developed a special HSC Animal First Aid Kit which includes an informative 28-page first aid manual. The contents of the kit have been field tested in disaster and war zones around the world."

All of the emergency items for pets and their humans are available at The Humane Society of Canada’s Online Adventure Store or by calling, toll free, 1-800-641-KIND (5463). Proceeds from the sale of these items go to helping animals in need and protecting the environment.

Preparing for your pets’ well being in case an emergency happens is a great way to provide for your "best friends’" safety and give yourself some peace of mind. A good time to make these special preparations is Emergency Animal Preparedness Day!

Note: Camera-ready artwork for the HSC Animal First Aid Kit is available on request.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.