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 at your home:
    • 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 worker.

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