FORT WAYNE - With Disaster Prepardness month underway, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has important tips on how you can make sure your pets are included in your safety plans. We'll also cover how to keep your children safe around animals.
PET SAFETY PREPAREDNESS
Naviating a disaster is already a stressful situation. Take out some of the stress by preparing ahead of time, and that includes for your pets. When making your family's emergency kit toss in these items for your pets too:
- A copy of your pets' medical records.
Depending on where you stay, you may need to show proof of vaccinations. Many states also require any pets entering their state have medical records to show proof of vaccinations. These also serve as proof of ownership, which may be required to show in case you are separated from your pet.
-Your pets' updated microchip information
All too often we see pets come into the shelter who are microchipped but the information is not up-to-date and their owners cannot be contacted.
-Enough food for two weeks
Not having to worry about finding food for your pet in an emergency will be a big stress-saver.
- A crate
- Any medications they are taking
- Extra leash and collar
- Food and water bowl
- Extra toys and treats
KEEPING KIDS AND PETS SAFE
In addition to preparing for a natural disaster, FWACC wants to remind the public of ways to keep their pets and children safe every day. Nearly 77 percent of all dog bites come from a family dog or a dog the person is familiar with. Dog bites are prevenatble! It's important to understand dog body language so you can tell when a dog needs space and to teach your children the appropriate way to interact with dogs. Bites don't happen "out of the blue".
Check out the graphic below to understand the subtle signs a dog shows when they are getting uncomfortable. Intervening early is key to preventing a bite.
Watch for these signs as when your child is interacting with any dog. Here are some other tips to keep your children safe:
- Never let them sit or climb on a dog
- Never let them reach for a dog's toy or treat
- Never let them around a dog who is eating
- Never leave children unsupervised around a dog
- Never let them pull a dog's tails or ears
- Never let them hug or kiss a dog
- Teach them to never a grab a dogs face
- For older kids, teach them to understand basic dog body language
As adults it's our responsiblity to be an advocate for our dogs and our children. By understanding dog body language and teaching our children proper interactions with dogs we can prevent bites!
If you are within Fort Wayne city limits and need assistance with wildlife you can contact FWACC at 260-427-1244 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you need assistance outside of regular business hours you can call 260-449-3000 for assistance. FWACC does not remove deceased wild animals from private property.
When to call about wildlife...
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control responds to calls about wildlife when a wild animal is in a person's living space, injured or sick. Encountering wildlife in Fort Wayne is common and in many cases there is not much we can do as an agency. Here are some tips to know when to make the call:
Wild animals can pose serious, sometimes fatal health risks
It's important to remember that you should NEVER handle wild animals. Wild animals can carry dangerous diseases like rabies. In Indiana the wild animals at the highest risk of carrying rabies are skunks, foxes, raccoons, coyotes and bats. Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and spinal cord. The disease can be spread through bites and when the saliva of an infected animal enters an open wound or the eyes. Even baby animals can be infected, so while they might be cute, injured or need assistance NEVER HANDLE THEM.
Reporting an Injured Bird?
Calls about injured birds are not uncommon, especially in the spring. Birds on the ground that appear to be struggling to fly are most likely a fledgling bird. These are baby birds that have fallen down from their nests and are commonly confused with injured or sick animals. These birds are actually learning to fly and don’t have the wing strength to fly back to their nests. This is a natural part of their development. These birds will be jumping around flapping their wings for an extended period of time. There’s no need to panic – chances are it’s a baby bird growing up right before your eyes!
If you see a bird struggling to fly – observe it for 24 hours before calling FWACC.
Abandoned Baby Rabbits?
You found a rabbit’s nest in your yard. What should you do?
First, there’s no need to panic. Rabbit’s often build their nests out in plain view and it’s not uncommon to come across one. If you do, simply cover the nest back up and the mother will return. DO NOT take the baby rabbits out of the nest. If your dog or cat found the nest you can cover it with a basket or box that allows the mother to get in, but not your pets.
Mother rabbits only feed their young five minutes a day. They tend to them early in the morning and in the evening. If you find a nest but the mother isn’t around, don’t worry she will be back.
You can put a ring of flour around the nest and check back the next day to see if the mother has come or gone. This is a good way to tell if the rabbits are truly abandoned.
To learn more about baby rabbits click here.
To learn more about wildlife and what to do visit the DNR's website HERE.