Animals and Livestock

Animals and Livestock

Animals are affected by disasters just as we are. If you have pets or livestock, you should be prepared to take care of them in an emergency. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you are prepared.


Build a Kit

Your pets need food, water and shelter during an emergency just as you do. When planning for your emergency or evacuation kit, include the following:

  • Food and water for at least 3 to 7 days and possibly up to 2 weeks
  • Litter and disposable litter trays
  • Extra medications
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Feeding dishes
  • Extra harness and leash
  • Portable pet carrier or kennel
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Toys
  • Shampoo and other pet toiletries

Make a Plan

You may need to evacuate during an emergency and you should plan to take your pets with you. Include the following in your emergency plan for your pets:

  • List of and contact information for friends, family, or animal care providers who may be able to take your pets if you have to evacuate
  • List of and contact information for pet friendly hotels outside of your evacuation area
  • Veterinary records
  • Recent photos and descriptions of your pets
  • Microchip information (be sure to update address and/or phone number if they have changed)

If You Have to Leave Your Pet Behind

Some emergencies may not allow you to take your pets with you. Here are some tips to help your pets if you have to leave them behind:

  • Leave pets in a secure area inside your home with adequate space to move around
  • Leave at least a 10 day supply of dry food and multiple containers of water
  • Put signs in your doors and windows that tell emergency responders the type and number of animals inside, the date you evacuated, your contact information and, if possible, photo and name of the animals


Being prepared for a disaster can lessen the impacts for you and your livestock. Learn what disaster risks exist for your area and make plans for what you will do when disaster does strike.

Build a Kit

An emergency kit for livestock can greatly reduce the stress of evacuation or responding to your livestock during and after an emergency. Here are some items to include:

  • Tack, ropes and halters
  • Concentrated feed, hay, supplements and medicines
  • Copies of ownership papers
  • Buckets or feed nets
  • Garden hose
  • Blankets or tarps
  • Lights, portable radio and spare batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Livestock first aid supplies

Additional Recommendations for Livestock

  • Organize with neighbors and other local livestock owners about a plan for evacuations and temporary livestock care
  • Make sure you can prove ownership of your livestock (microchip horses; if evacuating and leaving large animals, spray paint your name or phone number on their side)
  • Practice loading and moving your animals so both you and your animals become familiar with the effort
  • Keep quiet and calm when handling animals during and after a disaster

Whether dealing with pets or livestock in an emergency, keep in mind that your personal safety and the safety of your family should come first. If you are safe, you can do more to benefit animals. If you are at risk, so is their welfare and health. Follow official instructions on shelter-in-place, evacuation, and access and safety when re-entering a disaster area.

Additional Resources:

ASPCA Disaster Preparedness 

CDC:  Pet Safety in Emergencies 

Disaster Preparedness for Farm Animals 

AVMA Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians 

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
503-397-7247 24-hour Reporting 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30


Columbia County Public Health is committed to improving the quality of life and protecting the health and well-being of all residents by addressing social, economic, and environmental conditions. Our goal is to ensure that all people in Columbia County have the opportunity for a healthy life.