When a family experiences the traumatic event of a house fire, there are many resources available to help restore possessions, take care of physical injuries, and provide temporary housing and help during the restoration efforts. But what about pets?
While the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the insurance company are seeking to help the human victims, when pets are rescued, or if they’ve escaped the fire, there’s historically been few resources in place to care for their needs. This, however, is changing.
In Philadelphia, a firefighter named Jen Leary saw the need and created the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team to aid in the search for missing pets after a house fire, and arranging medical care and shelter for pets when found. In Napa and Sonoma area, Milo Foundation Shelter helps to arrange for foster homes for pets after a house fire when families are in temporary shelters that cannot accommodate animals. While there is currently no “go-to” solution for the care and sheltering of pets after a house fire, there are precautions pet owners can take in advance to ensure a pet is cared for in the event of a house fire.
Your pets’ vet is the first place to start. During the next visit, ask if they could accommodate your pet in the event of a house fire and needing temporary sheltering, or if they can recommend a good foster situation during the reconstruction phase. Make a call to the local Salvation Army and Red Cross and ask if, in the event of a house fire, they would have facilities where your pet could remain with you during your temporary relocation. If not, they may have resources available which have been used in the past to accommodate pets during post-fire restoration. Local family, friends and neighbors. Mention to those whom you already know love your pet, and see if they may be willing and able to help you in the event of a house fire by taking care of your pet for awhile while you recover.
Pets are an important family member, and with a little planning and forethought, you could make the traumatic event of a house fire just a little bit easier by having a plan in place for the sheltering and care of your pet during restoration after a house fire.