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Your Borough Of Poole

Pets and Evacuations

When may an evacuation be necessary?

Evacuations can be necessary for a number of reasons, from major incidents such as floods and heath fires, to small scale incidents involving burst water mains. They can last from a few hours to several days, so it is best to be prepared.

It is important to note that in the event of an evacuation we have planned for pets and animals, however they remain the owners responsibility. Pets and animals are registered alongside others.

It is also important to note that pets will not be allowed into rescue centres, with the exception of dogs for the blind and hard of hearing, so consider where you would board them. Consider asking friends or family if they would house your pet in the event of an emergency.

Every centre has consideration for pets and animals and agreements with organisations to support us.

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Prepare pets and animals for an evacuation

In the event of an evacuation do not leave your pets behind, try to take them with you. Being prepared before an evacuation is the best way to ensure your pets safety; it will also mean you encounter less stress, difficulty or worry should it ever happen. Therefore always ensure you have the following:

  • leads/harnesses – one for each dog if you have more than one
  • a pet carrier for each pet – small pets e.g. hamsters/gerbils, and birds can be transported in their cages. Reptiles can be transported in secured pillow cases but then must be transferred into a cage large enough for the species, and maintained at a temperature/humidity relevant to that species
  • muzzles – one for each dog if you have more than one
  • plastic bags for clearing up and disposing of your pets waste
  • vaccinations – ensure your pet is up to date with theirs, and keep their vaccination card in a safe place in case you have to board them
  • kennels/catteries will not accept animals that are not vaccinated
  • medication – if your pets on medication make sure you take a supply if you need to evacuate
  • identification – ensure your pets are identified either by a microchip or a collar and tag (which should have your name and contact details on it) or both
  • a recent photo of you and your pet – for identification purposes should you and your pet become separated.

Keep all your pet's documents (insurance, vaccination card etc) together in one place as this will save time should you need to evacuate.

Remember pets may become very stressed in an evacuation situation. Pets that are normally friendly and easy to handle may behave differently and show aggression. This will only be because they are frightened so it is important that you remain calm, it will help your pet to stay calm.

If the evacuation is likely to be long-term (more than 24hrs) take a supply of your pet's food with you plus feed bowls and/or water bottles. If the food is in tins ensure you take a tin-opener.

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What to do if you have to leave your pet or animal behind

If you have to leave your pets behind ensure you do the following:

  • do not tether/tie them

  • leave them in a room with plenty of free-space, upstairs if a flood risk

  • never leave them if risk is fire

  • leave enough food and water for 3 days (per animal)

  • ensure your pet is wearing identification (where appropriate)

  • leave a note on your front door, or somewhere immediately visible, for the emergency services advising them there are animals in the house, what those animals are and where they are.

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How to deal with livestock and tethered horses

Whether you are a commercial farmer or simply own a pet pig, you should consider what action you would take should you be asked to evacuate your home. With livestock and large animals it is important to act early.

  • transportation - If you own pet livestock ensure you have a suitable trailer to transport your pet, or immediate access to one. Commercial farmers should have their own transport or a list of livestock haulier’s to call in an emergency 

  • if flood risk, move animals to high ground as soon as possible

  • plan your evacuation route in advance, plus an alternative should the route be blocked

  • accommodation – plan in advance where you would house your animals

  • attach your details to field gates so you can be contacted in an emergency

  • take food/water supplies with you.

Never put your own life or the lives of others at risk to attempt to rescue an animal.

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Where to find out more about pets and emergencies?




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Contact us


01202 261700

Text Relay
18001 01202 261700

Environmental Services,
Unit 1, New Fields Business Park,
Stinsford Road,
BH17 0NF