Don’t Forget Your Four-Legged Friends
September 11, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, TX -As Hurricane Ike sets its eye on the Texas
Coast, thousands of coastal residents are going to be mandated to
evacuate their homes. Fortunately for them, new mandates allow them
to bring their pets.
In the aftermath of Katrina, it was discovered that many of
those who suffered the greatest losses were those who stayed
behind, unable to bring their animals with them in an evacuation.
In recognition of the importance of the human-animal bond,
evacuating agencies are no longer able to refuse someone bringing
their pets with them.
The Brazos County Emergency Management Team, in cooperation with
the Brazos Animal Shelter and the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine, has been preparing to receive animals arriving
with evacuees from Hurricane Ike. A unique part of the sheltering
plan in Brazos County has been the response plan for those
evacuating with horses and domestic livestock. Although it is not
currently mandated that evacuees must be allowed to leave with
livestock, to many horse and livestock owners, the economic impact
of losing a prize horse or show animal would be devastating. For
this reason, the Brazos County Animal Issues Committee has been
working since Hurricane Rita to prepare not only for small
companion animals, but also for larger ones as well.
After receiving shelter assignments from the Reception Center at
Veteran's Park, animal owners will be directed to the appropriate
animal shelter for their pets. Large animals (domestic livestock,
including horses) and small animals will be housed in two separate
The Brazos Animal Shelter, with support from the Brazos Valley
Veterinary Medical Association and the Brazos Valley Small Animal
Response Team, will manage the small animal shelter. Veterinarians
and students from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences will manage the large animal shelter.
Both the Small Animal Hospital and the Large Animal Hospital
located at the College of Veterinary Medicine will be available
only for emergency care of those animals arriving in Brazos County
sick and/or injured, and those that may become sick and/or injured
while in a shelter. These facilities will not be available as
At this time, animals will be sheltered on a first come, first
served basis. In the large animal shelter, there is a limited
capacity of 200 horses, 80 head of cattle, and 80 small ruminants
In addition, the College of Veterinary Medicine has established
an Emergency Response website that can be a valuable resource to
those planning for evacuation at vetmed.tamu.edu. On
the site are links to maps on how to reach the Reception Center at
Veteran's Park, policies and procedures for pet owners sheltering
at one of the two designated sites, and preparation lists for
evacuating with pets.
For additional information, please visit vetmed.tamu.edu, or
Brazos County Emergency Management - www.bcdem.org (979)
393-9913or (979) 393-9914.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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