PAWS opens center for evacuation of pets

Posted at 08/07/12 5:35 PM

A man carries his pet dog as he wades on a flooded street in Las Pinas, Metro Manila on August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Take pets along in times of disaster, PETA says

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has opened its animal rehabilitation center in Loyola Heights, Quezon City for distressed pets from Marikina.

In its Facebook account, PAWS said it “does not have enough cages but at least it's higher ground and the animals will not drown.”

The shelter there has also reached maximum capacity. Still, “it is making this announcement as an open evacuation center to reach out to pet owners in Marikina now.”

Marikina has been inundated by floods because of massive rains. Residents are already on forced evacuation, with the Marikina River reaching critical levels.

No pets left behind

Meanwhile, animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said on Tuesday that in times of disaster, it is best to not leave pets to fend for themselves.

But if owners really have to leave their pets behind, the animals should be in a secure area at home, where they could still escape when flood waters start to rise, the group said.

PETA also asked the public to watch out for other animals in need, including strays.

It can be recalled that several cats and dogs were found dead inside their cages or were left hanging from electrical wires in the aftermath of tropical storm "Ondoy" in 2009.

In a previous interview, PETA's Jason Baker attributed this to the people's lack of knowledge on what to do with their pets when a disaster strikes.

"I think people are concerned about what happens to their pets, it's just that they think they'll be able to come back sooner than they think. A lot of people leave their pets or tied to chains, but that means they have nowhere to go," Baker told ABS-CBNnews.com.

Animal safety tips

PETA has released these animal safety tips during disasters:

1. All animals should have collars with identification tags. Make sure you have a current photo of your companion for identification purposes.

2. Keep copies of your pet's records in your emergency kit. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters require medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.

3. Have a ready pack containing a carrier, leash, extra animal food, and other supplies that you will need so you can grab them easily if you need to evacuate in a hurry.

For those who have to leave their pets behind:

1. Never turn animals loose. Do not tie animals outside or keep them in a vehicle unattended. Leave them in a secure area outside your home.

2. Leave out at least 10 days' supply of water. Fill every sink, bowl, pan and container with water, then set them on the floor. Do not leave just one container -- it may spill. If your toilet bowl is free of chemical disinfectants, leave the toilet seat up to provide pets with one more source of water.

3. Leave out at least 10 days' supply of dry food. Canned food will go rancid quickly.

4. If you can't get to your home, contact a reliable neighbor or friend to check on the animals and get them out, if possible. Provide specific instructions on care.

5. Call PETA at (02) 817-5292 if in need of animal rescue.