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Protect your pets
Sunday 21 January 2018 – 4:00 PM

More than 60 per cent of Australian households include a much loved pet and with the bushfire season upon us it’s important our furry friends are included in the family bushfire survival plan.

Department of Fire and Emergency Service (DFES) Director of Community Preparedness Suellen Flint said actions for keeping pets safe were often left out when putting together an evacuation plan.

“Given we hold animals so close to our hearts, it is only natural that bushfire survival plans should include what you will do with your animals if you need to evacuate,” Suellen said.

There are several things you can do to prepare for a possible evacuation if you have pets.

1. Make sure your pet is properly micro-chipped and collared

2. Have a bag near the front door containing a lead, some food, a water bowl and any medications they may need

3. If you can’t take your animals with you make sure they are not tied up so they can escape if necessary.

“While evacuation centres provide temporary accommodation during emergencies, they often do not accommodate animals other than trained assistance dogs,” Suellen said.

“If you are evacuating during a bushfire, you should try to take your pets with you on the first trip. You may have the best intentions of going back to get your pets on a second trip, only to find when you return that the roads have been closed because the area is unsafe.”

DFES and RSPCA WA recommend community members talk to their local government regarding where their pets can stay during an emergency, or ask family and friends if they can temporarily care for pets until the evacuation is over.

DFES and RSPCA have developed this video which outlines the steps to consider when evacuating with your pets.

To prepare your bushfire survival plan visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firechat​