Pet Preparedness

Most disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations. Service animals for people with disabilities are an exception. In a large-scale disaster, the SF Department of Animal Care and Control (ACC) will use its facility at 15th and Harrison as a temporary shelter for animals. In addition, ACC will work closely with the City to set up animal shelters in close proximity to “human” shelters in areas where the evacuation of neighborhood residents is necessary.

  • Arrange for a neighbor to check on your pets and take care of them if a disaster occurs while you are not at home.
  • Plan ahead for a friend or relative outside the affected area to shelter your animals if necessary.
  • Keep your pet’s ID tags up to date. Consider having your pet micro-chipped.
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Response:

  • Bring all pets into the house so that you won't have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Do not try and hold onto your pet during the shaking of an earthquake or explosion. Animals instinctively protect themselves and hide where they are safe.
  • Animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, and try to escape or even bite or scratch.
  • When you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines.
  •  Consult your veterinarian if any behavioral problems persist.