Because Ike (that bastard) has created more victims beyond the human variety, it’s important to keep our furry friends in mind. Fortunately, groups like the Houston Humane Society and the Houston SPCA have been keeping us apprised of the animal situation, and what folks can do to help out.
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First, the Houston Humane Society asks pet owners to keep the following in mind:
If you are a resident of a community that has a boil-water notice remember your pets' water must be boiled as well. Animals can become infected by Giardia and suffer intestinal problems from impure water.
Do not feed your pet table scraps as they may be more sensitive now due to the upheaval from the hurricane turmoil.
Do not feed animals food you are discarding from your refrigerator or freezer. They could be contaminated and cause your pet to become severely ill.
Make sure to keep all trash, especially food, in an animal-proof container. There are many more strays than usual roaming the streets looking for food. These animals are attracted by trash and can pass on diseases to both you and your pet.
To prevent heat stroke make sure your pet is kept cool, has plenty of shade, air circulation, and most importantly cool, fresh water at all times.
If your fence was damaged from the storm keep your dogs inside until all repairs are made. Pets can easily slip through a broken fence and become lost.
Make sure your pet wears his or her collar and tags at all times. Having them tagged with the correct information will help them get home if they should get loose. If not already, get your pet microchipped as soon as possible.
If you bring a stray animal into your home make sure to keep them separated from your pets. You do not know what diseases they may be carrying. For their safety, and that of your pets, take the stray to the veterinarian as soon as possible to get them vaccinated and heartworm tested.
Animals showing signs of distress should immediately be taken to a veterinarian. The Houston Humane Society Wellness Clinic is open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with priority given to animals in need of urgent care due to injuries from the recent storm. If you have, or know of, an animal in need, please bring it to the HHS Wellness Clinic at 14700 Almeda Road.
Due to the large number of animals in our care and those needing emergency attention, current services do not include routine vaccinations or exams. The HHS Wellness Clinic will resume regular services and hours as soon as power is restored.
For information regarding veterinary help for an animal in crisis please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, anyone missing a pet should check out the online Disaster Response Pet Portal at www.houstonspca.org or www.Pets911.com. If you have lost or found an animal, please call the Houston SPCA’s emergency hotline at 713.435.9220.
-- Craig Malisow