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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Evacuees: Motel 6 Accepts Pets

With the fires spreading in southern California, the Motel 6 chain is offering its services as a pet-friendly sanctuary to those who must evacuate their homes.

The motel chain is encouraging fire evacuees to go to or call 1-800-4Motel6 (800-466-8356) to find room availability. Motel 6 is also offering tips on how to prepare for your pet in case of an evacuation.

"The first priority is to make sure everyone who evacuates has a safe place to go with their pets, which is why we are encouraging anyone evacuating with animals to look out for a Motel 6 or other pet-friendly accommodations," says Sue MacGregor, vice president of risk for Accor North America, Motel 6's parent company. "Many people are facing evacuation in Southern California, and it is important that they know how to prepare themselves and their pets for this unexpected disaster."

  • If possible, do not leave your pet behind. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet. Make sure your pet is a part of the family disaster plan. Keep in mind that most disaster shelters do not take animals, except for service dogs. Contact or surf the web for your local animal shelter, veterinarian or emergency management office regarding information on sheltering pets during an emergency. Be sure to identify pet-friendly hotels, like Motel 6, along your evacuation routes. Plan with your neighbor to ensure all pets are taken care of if one of you is not home during a disaster.
  • Keep emergency supplies readily available to house and feed your pets. Each pet needs a sturdy crate to keep safe. Keep a two-week supply of water and food with bowls for each pet as part of your family's emergency provisions. If your pet is on medication, make sure you have enough medicine to last your pet for several weeks. A pet first aid kit, plastic bags, disinfectant, pooper scoopers, kitty litter and a small litter tray are also useful items to have on-hand.
  • Be prepared in case you get separated from your pet. Get up-to-date identification that can easily trace your pet back to you. Take a current photo of each animal showing any distinguishing marks. Be sure each pet's shots are current, and know where records are for each animal.
  • Monitor your pet's behavior. Animals can be easily frightened when stressed and may become aggressive or defensive in a disaster situation. Remember to put safety first: keep your pet in its carrier or crate, and watch for any changes in behavior. If you do take your pet outside, keep it on a leash. Give your pet extra reassurance and attention to help keep them calm.

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