Sept 18, 2003, TORONTO - The Humane Society of Canada is asking people to remember to include their pets in their disaster relief plan. Unfortunately, in times of natural and manmade disasters, animals are often the forgotten victims, left behind when families are forced to evacuate. Remember in times of disaster, the safest place for your pet is with you.


While Isabel’s intensity of a Category 2 hurricane (winds of up to 167 km/h) is expected to drop once she hits landfall, the Governors of Virginia and North Carolina have both declared a pre-emptive state of emergency with the National Guard and state police are on alert and 100,000 people in North Carolina, where the storm is to first hit, have been asked to evacuate.


Weather officials in Canada are predicting that Isabel’s weather system is expected to hit Southern Ontario and Quebec either late Thursday or early Friday bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds.

Tips for Disaster Preparation

  • Listen to local officials for up-to-date storm information, and be prepared to leave when told to do so.
  • Keep all animals indoors or under constant supervision well before the storm hits and well afterwards to avoid the loss of your pet.
  • If you are not advised to leave, remain indoors in the centre of your home, well away from all windows - either a closet or bathroom.
  • Install hurricane shutters or ½" outdoor plywood boards for each window of your house. Install anchors and predrill holes for easy installation. Remember to use screws rather than nails, as nails can easily rip out in a heavy wind.
  • Bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations or hanging plants or any other items that can be easily picked up by the winds.
  • Prepare a personal evacuation plan with a list of places well away from the affected area where you can stay. Most public shelters do not allow for pets, however there are hotels and motels that do, keep a list of these places and their phone numbers, and road maps in case of potential detours in a safe, easy to remember location.
  • Always keep your personal identification with you at all times: passport, SIN number, driver’s licence, a copy of your health plan and a copy of your pet’s vaccination record.
  • Always remember to bring any necessary prescription medications for yourself, your family and your pets.
  • When you are travelling with your pet, always remember to bring a week supply food, dishes, bottled water, bedding and toys. Always keep your cat in its carrier and your dog on its leash to avoid them jumping out of the car and getting lost when on route. Keep any small animals, like rabbits and also birds safe in their portable carriers.
  • Have a well-stocked Humane Society of Canada Animal First Aid Kit or other first aid kit.
  • Carry extra pet identification tags (the kind you can write on)
  • Also have a waterproof flashlight, portable radio and batteries, waterproof blankets and waterproof marking pen and paper.
  • Also have recent photos of your pet or animals, in the event that they do get separated from you.
  • The strong winds and heavy rains will also affect wildlife, please call your local humane society or wildlife rehabilitation centre if you find any orphaned, injured or sick wild animals or birds.

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.

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.