May 12, 2004, VANCOUVER – May 15, 2004 is Animal Disaster Preparedness Day and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people with animals to take the time to plan for their animal companions’ well being in time of emergency.


“When it comes to planning our pets’ safety the phrase ‘better safe than sorry’ applies,” states Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. “Frequently our species puts off important things – often until it is too late.”

According to Hickey, effective planning doesn’t have to take much time or effort.

“If you already have an emergency plan for the human members of your family, implementing steps to take care of your animals is relatively simple. Even if you haven’t prepared what you will do should an emergency arise creating an effective plan isn’t difficult,” states Hickey. “Just make sure that creating the plan is a priority. Whether the emergency situation involves fire, flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes or a sick or injured guardian, being prepared is vital. In cases of natural disasters, it is important to plan things such as where you will keep your animal companions and who will help to look after them,” says Hickey.

HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan agrees with Hickey about the importance of thinking ahead to ensure a pet’s well being. The Humane Society of Canada has also prepared a Special Report detailing what to do to protect your family and pet in the event of a terrorist act, many of whose points are applicable to safeguarding yourself during natural disasters.

“To help ensure the safety of animals, The Humane Society of Canada has produced several items than can save the lives of pets and which provide the animals’ human guardians with some peace of mind,” states O’Sullivan.

“One of the first lines of defense is our HSC Animal Alert Sticker,” suggests O’Sullivan. “These stickers were created to alert rescue personnel that animals are inside the house who require assistance and care if their human guardians cannot get home to them.”

Another important item should an emergency occur is The HSC Disaster Relief Checklist. This card lists items that should be included in your pet’s disaster relief kit as well as where the animal will be taken in the event of an emergency.

The HSC Special Wallet Card is another valuable item that can prevent animal suffering. This card contains instructions as to who should be contacted to care for the animals should their human guardian not be able to do so personally.

One of the most important items to have on hand in case an emergency occurs is a first aid kit. According to Michael O’Sullivan, “The HSC First Aid Kit was developed by numerous people experienced in animal care and rescue and was field tested in disaster and war zones around the world.”

O’Sullivan, who has worked in over 90 countries during the last three decades helping animals, has ensured that the well stocked kit is also affordable. An informative 28-page first aid manual is also included. These kits, and other emergency preparedness items, are available from The Humane Society of Canada by calling 1-800-641-KIND (5463) or online at

Preparing for your pets’ safety is vital and it doesn’t have to take much time; and what better time to take the necessary steps to protect the animals in your life than on Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[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.

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