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Shooting them isn't the answer : why pets matter in disasters

By Steve Glassey

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With over 44% of those failing to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina doing so in part because they were unable to take their pets, the issue of pets in disasters has become a major issue and focus for emergency managers worldwide. The academic consensus is that pets are seen as part of the human family and that leaving them behind in an evacuation is contrary to public safety. This paper explores the human-animal bond and the implications of this for emergency managers and responders through an assortment of literature and media articles, providing the basis for taking an evidence based approach to companion animal emergency planning. Finally, a short commentary is offered on the development of the Civil Defence Disability Assist Dog tag in New Zealand and its benefits for the community and emergency response organisations.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2014
Pages 8
Publisher University of Canterbury
Location of Publication Christchurch, New Zealand
Conference Title Australia & New Zealand Disaster Management Conference: Earth, Fire & Rain
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal health and hygiene
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Disabilities
  6. Disaster
  7. emergency management
  8. Evacuation
  9. Health
  10. Pet ownership
  11. Pets and companion animals
  12. Physical environment
  13. Social Environments
  14. Tags
  15. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation