September is National Preparedness Month

Fema Pet Prep images

Are you prepared if a disaster strikes? Does your plan include your pet?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start today by:
• Making a plan and
• Preparing a disaster kit
By doing so, you are protecting the health of not only your pet, but yourself, your family, and others in your community.

To get started, familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that could impact your area and consider your options for providing care for your pet(s).

Make a Plan
Disasters can happen without warning, so be prepared for these events:

  • Make sure your pet(s) wear collars and tags
    with up-to-date contact information and other
  • Microchip your pet(s) – this is one of the best
    ways to ensure that you and your pet are
    reunited if you are separated. Always be sure
    to register the microchip with the
    manufacturer and keep your contact
    information up to date with the microchip
  • Purchase a pet carrier for each of your pets
    (write your pet’s name, your name and
    contact information on each carrier).
  • Keep a leash and/or carrier nearby the exit.
  • Ensure proper equipment for pets to ride in
    the car (carriers, harnesses, pet seatbelts).
  • If you do not have a car, make arrangements
    with neighbors, family and friends.
  • Decide where you and your pet are going to
    stay. Based on the severity of a disaster, you
    may have two options for your pets:

    • Sheltering in place
    • Sheltering in a facility away from home
      (during an evacuation)

Sheltering in Place
When sheltering at home with your pet, make sure the room chosen is pet-friendly in the following ways:

  • Select a safe room, preferably an interior room
    with no (or few) windows.
  • Remove any toxic chemicals or plants.
  • Close off small areas where frightened cats
    could get stuck in (such as vents or beneath
    heavy furniture).

Sheltering during an evacuation

  • Some jurisdictions will offer companion animal
    sheltering with general population and
    functional/access needs sheltering. Check
    your local media and/or County Emergency
    website, or ReadyErie (Erie County residents).
  • If accommodations are needed for your pet(s):
    • Contact local veterinary clinics, boarding
      facilities, and local animal shelters. Visit the
      Humane Society website to find a shelter in
      your area.
    • Contact family or friends outside the
      evacuation area.
    • Contact a pet-friendly hotel, particularly
      along evacuation routes.

Prepare a Pet Disaster Kit
Prepare a disaster kit for your pet(s), so evacuation will go smoothly for your entire family. Ask your veterinarian for help putting it together.
Some examples of what to include are:

Disaster Supplies for Pets

  • Food (in airtight waterproof containers or
    cans) and water for at least 2 weeks for each
  • Food and water bowls and a manual can
  • For cats: litter box and litter
  • For dogs: plastic bags for poop
  • Clean-up items for bathroom accidents (paper
    towels, plastic trash bags, bleach-containing
    cleaning agent)
  • Medications for at least 2 weeks, along with
    any treats used to give the medications and
    pharmacy contact for refills
  • Medical records
    • Rabies vaccination certificate
    • Current vaccination record
    • If your pet has a microchip, a record of the
      microchip number
    • Prescription for medication(s)
    • For cats, most recent FeLV/FIV test result or
      vaccination date
    • Summary of pertinent medical history; ask
      your veterinarian for a copy
  • Sturdy leashes or harnesses
  • Carrier or cage that is large enough for your
    pet to stand comfortably and turn around;
    towels or blankets
  • Pet toys and bed (familiar items to help the pet
    [s] feel more comfortable).
  • A handout containing identification
    information (in the event you get separated
    from your pet)

    • Current photo of pet
    • Pet’s descriptive features (age, sex,
      neutered/non-neutered status, color(s), and
      approximate weight)
    • Microchip number
    • Owner contact information (cell phone,
      work phone, home phone)
    • Contact information of a close relative or
  • A handout with boarding instructions, such as
    feeding schedule, medications, and any known
    allergies and behavior problems
  • Documents, medications, and food should be
    stored in waterproof container

Erie County Department of Health’s September Rabies Clinics

Dog cat Ferret pic

Erie County Department of Health is hosting free Rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets.

What to bring with you:

  • Bring pets on a secure collar/harness and leash, or in a carrier.
  • Avoid using retractable, extended dog leashes. If you are using one, be sure it is no longer than 4 feet and in the locked position.
  • Bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination record, if possible.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4-7 p.m.

ERIE COMMUNITY COLLEGE–SOUTH Campus Bldg. #7 – Maintenance Garage 4041 Southwestern Blvd. Orchard Park


Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4-7 p.m.

ERIE COMMUNITY COLLEGE-NORTH Campus Noonan Center – Maintenance Garage 6205 Main Street (off Youngs Rd./ Tech Dr.) Amherst


Wednesday, September 25, 2019 4-7 p.m.

Cheektowaga Highway Garage

3145 Union Road, Cheektowaga


For more information:

Easter Safety for Pets


Here are 8 safety tips for pets around the Easter holidays.

1: Say No to Easter Grass

Easter grass can make a basket really pretty but it’s irresistible for dogs and cats. They love to chew on it and if ingested it can be dangerous. Use tissue paper instead or if you do use Easter grass, keep those baskets out of reach of your pets.

2: Keep Chocolate Away From Pets

Chocolate contains theobromine and can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and an elevated heart rate in dogs. Keep the Easter stash hidden and away from your dog.

3: Sugar Substitute Xylitol is Toxic to Pets

Candy that has the sugar substitute xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It’s often found in candy, gum, and some baked goods. If your pet ingests it, a drop in blood sugar can occur and cause problems such as seizures and liver failure. You may have to put your dog in another room while the kids celebrate Easter and dive into that basket of candy and chocolate.

4: Easter Lilies are Toxic to Cats

Easter lilies are very pretty but cats have a tendency to chew on them. These flowers are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting and lethargy. Hopefully your cat doesn’t jump on every surface in the house and you’ll be able to find a nice spot for the flowers. But if not, it may be best to avoid having Easter lilies in the house to keep your cat safe.

5: Table Scraps Can Be Harmful to Pets

Table scraps from dinner can be bad for your pet. The ingredients, spices, and fat content can make your pet ill, upset their stomach, or cause other problems such as obesity and behavior problems. Remind your family and guests to not give any food to the dog. If your dog does beg, you may need to crate your dog during dinner or have him hang out in another room with a toy or Kong with some treats to distract him.

Both raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure in pets.  Offer your dog a baby carrot as a treat instead.

6: Don’t Lose Track of Where You Hide Easter Eggs

Real or fake eggs might be mistaken as a treat or toy by your dog. If your dog eats or chews on a fake plastic egg, it can cause intestinal problems. Real eggs that have been forgotten during an Easter egg hunt can spoil and if your dog finds them a few days later and eats them, expect an upset stomach. Keep track of the number of eggs you hide in your yard and where they are to gather up any undiscovered ones after the hunt is over.

7: Stuffed Easter Toys for Kids May Not Be Suitable for Pets

Toys for the kids can be mistaken as toys for the dog, especially by the dog. Stuffed bunnies, chickens, and other plastic toys can be chewed, swallowed, and slobbered on by your furry buddy. Your dog might swallow plastic, stuffing, or other parts that can cause intestinal blockages or an upset stomach. Keep the baskets out of reach of your pet.

8: Crowds Can Be a Challenge with Pets

Crowded houses with friends, family, and guests can be overwhelming to your dog and cat. If your pets do not handle crowds well, crating your dog in a room away from the guests or putting your cat in the bedroom is the best solution with some food, water, and their bed. It cuts down on them getting into trouble, eating something they shouldn’t, and being easily frightened by all the people and noise.

9: Live Easter Animals
While live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!

Baby bunnies and ducklings…..what’s not to like about the Easter holiday?  It’s the one holiday where bunnies and ducks fit in perfectly with the season and we all know how adorable they are. To top it off, we hold Easter egg hunts and distribute baskets of candy and other goodies; it’s definitely a family favorite holiday celebration.

This Easter holiday, though, fun for your families can be potentially dangerous to your pets.  Your pets, if able, will get into the Easter baskets and they will find the one egg that no one could find in the backyard Easter egg hunt.  With the above concerns we have put together a short list of things to be aware of during this Easter holiday.

  1. Plastic Easter grass – dogs and cats enjoy chewing on this.  While this may look pretty in the baskets, it can be potentially dangerous to dogs and cats if ingested.  Consider using paper shreds or just not using any.
  2. Chocolate – Chocolate contains theobromine and can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and an elevated heart rate in dogs.  Keep the Easter baskets away from your dogs.
  3. Xylotol is a s a natural, sugar-free sweetener commonly found in many chewing gums, mints, foods (e.g., pudding and gelatin snacks,) etc.  In dogs, a smaller ingestion can cause an acute, life-threatening low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) within 10-15 minutes. A larger ingestion can result in acute liver necrosis and liver failure.
  4. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species. Examples of some of these dangerous lilies include the tiger, day, Asiatic hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, rubrum, stargazer, red, Western, and wood lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestion (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) – even the pollen or water from the vase – can result in severe, acute kidney failure.
  5. Table scraps – It’s hard when food falls on the floor or your family is tempted to give your pet a bite of the Easter dinner. Just say “no”to giving your pets table scraps.  Instead, crate them and give them extra treats with their food.
  6. Remember where you hide those Easter eggs!  Sounds funny, but consider making a map of your backyard and track all the eggs that are found and make sure they are all accounted for.  Your dog will find the eggs even if you can not!
  7. Plush toys found in Easter baskets.  Your dog will think it’s a chew toy, and eating the plastic and stuffing can cause digestive problems and possible intestinal blockages.
  8. Visitors – Family and friends visiting may make your pets anxious.  Consider crating your dogs in a quiet part of the house.
  9. We also may be tempted to purchase a bunny or baby duck for our children during this time, remember that these animals will grow and will require continuous care.  Plus, they will need to interact well with existing pets. So if you are thinking about adding a pet during this time, do some research and make sure you and your family are in it for the long haul.Easter-Blog-Art

Happy Independence Day!

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Follow these tips to keep your pet safe this Independence Day:

1. Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times!

More Pets are lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year. It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.

2. Don’t Put Insect Repellant or Sunscreen on your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use

What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.

3. Alcoholic Drinks Poison Pets

If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.

4. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home

The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke. Leave them in a secured, quiet area or leave music or the TV on.

5. Be Prepared if your pet does escape.

If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.

6. Keep Your Pet Away from Glow Jewelry

It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”

7. NEVER Use Fireworks Around Pets  fourth

While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

8. Don’t Give Your Pet “Table Food”

If you are having a backyard barbeque, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats. Keep some pet treats on hand for guests who want to offer your pet a treat.

9. Lighter Fluid and Matches Are Harmful to Pets.

The ASPCA lists chlorates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested. Hot grills are also dangerous to curious pets, keep them entertained away from the flames.

10. Citronella Insect Control Products Harm Pets, Too.

Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellants are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.