SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hurricane season starts June 1st and along with having a plan for yourself, you want to also make a plan for your pet.
In Sarasota County, all 11 of the evacuation shelters will allow cats and dogs. In Manatee County, there are only three of their evacuation shelters will allow cats, dogs, and birds. But the shelters in Manatee County that allow pets will not open up all at once.
In order for a pet to be allowed in a shelter, you need to bring proof that they have been vaccinated. Your pet will need an ID collar and leash. It’s also required that your animal is brought in a crate, and you want to make sure that crate is large enough for them to move around in and put a litter box in.
Another important thing to pack is indoor pee pads. Lastly, make sure you have enough food and water to last your pet for at least two weeks.
Sarasota County's Emergency Management Chief, Ed McCrane, said pets will be kept separate from people in the shelters and there will be trained staff in the area with the animals.
"We try to keep the pets as separated from people as possible. So those who may have allergies for pets, it might be a good idea for them to seek shelter elsewhere. Friends or family. We can't guarantee you won't have a pet come across your path while you're in one of those evacuation centers," McCrane said.
It’s also recommended that your pet has a microchip if you plan to bring them to a shelter.