The Network consists of nearly 100 participating shelters across the US that Hill's can coordinate with to distribute emergency food supplies to pets in need.
"The Hill's Disaster Relief Network formalizes the work Hill's has done with shelters throughout the country. Together, we can respond as quickly as possible when animals and their communities are impacted by disaster across the country. We are very proud of our strong relationships with shelters. When disasters happen, Hill's is ready to respond with emergency food shipments within hours," said Kostas Kontopanos, president of Hill's Pet Nutrition US.
Hill's is also working to educate pet owners on what they can do to help keep pets safe and healthy when a disaster hits, leading up to National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, May 11.
"Because owners have such strong bonds with their pets, we want to encourage pet parents to think about how their pets factor into their evacuation plans. Taking precautionary steps can help avoid delays in the event of an emergency," said Dr. Dan Aja, director of US professional and veterinary affairs at Hill's.
Hill's advises pet owners to take the following steps to prepare their pet for an emergency:
â€¢ Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag, with updated contact information.
â€¢ Prepare an emergency box of pet supplies that is readily accessible in the event of an evacuation. Emergency kits should include: first aid supplies and guide book; a three-day supply of petfood in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet's feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.
â€¢ Display a pet rescue decal with veterinarian contact information on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house.
â€¢ Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave the immediate area â€“ keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be able to shelter pets.
â€¢ If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate if possible for transport and safe-keeping.
â€¢ Carry a good picture of your pet with you in the event of separation during evacuation. Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house because pets may hide if they are scared.
To request assistance during an emergency, shelters can contact Hill's at DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.
By Lindsay Beaton
This country is straddling the line between developing and developed as more of its citizens see the value in pet ownership.
By Lindsay Beaton