Emergency Planning for Pets

What to do

Before an emergency

  • Put together a pet emergency survival kit.
  • Complete a pet record (PDF) for each pet and store it in your emergency kit.
  • Ensure pets are microchipped.
  • Make a list of pet friendly places:
    • Kennels
    • Veterinary facilities
    • Hotels and motels
  • Find out which hotels allow pets in emergencies.

During an emergency

  • When warnings of an emergency are issued, take pets and their completed pet record (PDF) to an emergency shelter.
  • If a pet is left behind, close and lock all doors and windows, leave extra bowls of food and water and ensure the toilet lid is up with the bathroom door wedged open.
  • Advise Animal Services by calling 905-832-2281 or an emergency shelter if pets are left behind.

After an emergency

  • When returning home, give pets time to settle back into their routines.
  • Leash pets when they go outside – familiar landmarks and smells might be gone and pets can get disorientated and lost.
  • The temperament of pets may change after an emergency, watch them closely – a once friendly animal can become aggressive or defensive.

What to know

  • Service animals are permitted in the living space of an emergency shelter.
  • Pets can be housed at the emergency shelter or the animal shelter.
  • Pet safety is the owner’s responsibility before, during and after an emergency.
  • Pets left alone can become victims of exposure, starvation, predators or contaminated food and water.
  • Pets left inside the home may escape through damaged areas, such as broken windows.

Pet emergency 72-hour survival kit

  • Blankets, towels and newspaper
  • Current photo of pet to prove ownership and in case they get lost
  • Food, bowls and can opener
  • Information on pet’s feeding schedule, special instructions or concerns
  • Leash, muzzle and harness
  • List of possible boarding facilities
  • Litter pan, litter, plastic bags and scooper
  • Medical records, especially proof of vaccination
  • Medications and pet first aid kit
  • Proof of ID tag/microchip
  • Small toy
  • Water

Contact Information

Emergency Planning

Joint Operations Centre
2800 Rutherford Rd.
Vaughan, ON L4K 2N9

Mailing Address

Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1