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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 04:32 pm

People urged not to forget their furry friends in quake panic

Jul 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular, News

Pet MAIN 1IN THE wake of Sunday’s earthquake, Wellingtonians are being urged to not overlook the needs of their furry friends when keeping themselves and their families safe.

Kelburn resident Holly Julius said her cat Moriarty (left) was definitely affected by the quake, which closed building for engineering checks, seemed to cause the most damage to nerves.

She said he ran outside and would not come back in, and then he just sat on the fence.

“He came back in when the after-shocks started happening, but he didn’t seem too happy.”

He also seemed frightened after the shake-up, wanting to stay close as the after-shocks rumbled on.

Kingston resident Vlad Samoylov – who lives with a cat called Sophia and three rainbow lorikeets called Chiko, Munter and Henry – said while his birds did not seem fazed by the earthquake, the cat got a fright and disappeared, only to come back a short while later.

SPCA chief inspector Ritchie Dawson said in a fast onset natural disaster like an earthquake people should look after their pets as they would the family.

“Keep them with you, reassure them,” he said. “Keep them confined to the house if you can.”

Animals would try to go where they feel safe, but may find their safe place disturbed in a disaster.

Mr Dawson recommended having pets micro-chipped so they were easier to track down if they escaped and got lost.

“Be mindful of updating your contact details in the micro-chip database – it’s only as useful as your details.”

Pet MAIN 2Immediately after something like an earthquake, it was essential to check on animals that might usually be outside, like dogs, rabbits or horses.

Mr Dawson, who has experience working with animal safety after the Christchurch earthquake, said in situations where people had to be evacuated, pet owners must have a plan ready for their pets, as well.

With cats, it was advisable to add a carry cage, water, food, medication and their vaccination certificate to your emergency kit.

On top of that, dogs would require a collar, lead and a tie-out chain in case everyone ended up in an unfenced area.

People who needed to evacuate quickly and who could not locate pets, especially cats, should put some food inside the house as the animals would probably return later.

“Cats will leave and hunker down where they feel safe. If you see a stray cat, only feed it after a few says, because it might go back to its home,” he said.

Despite the severity of Sunday’s earthquake (magnitude 6.5), the Wellington SPCA did not get any calls about animal welfare.

For more information about looking after animals in a natural disaster, CLICK HERE>

If you would like to adopt Charlie Girl (pictured above right) or one of her friends at the SPCA, CLICK HERE> or visit them at 305 Mansfield Street, Newtown from 10am-4-pm.

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