Animals in Emergencies

Approximately two-thirds of all American households own animals. Many companion animals (pets) are considered part of the family and in farm families, livestock are a primary source of income.

In recent disasters, people have not made the most rational decisions about ensuring their own safety when they have pets or livestock to consider by:
– refusing to evacuate and leaving animals
– trying to re-enter an unsafe area to rescue pets

Although the care and safety of humans must be the primary focus in a disaster, planning for pet evacuation, pet-friendly and temporary emergency animal sheltering is of great importance.

Horse in water



New York State

Empire State Animal Response Team (ESART) – a public-private partnership that unifies organizations, businesses,  government agencies and individuals that support all phases of emergencies affecting animals in New York State.

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University provides information on emerging infectious diseases to animal owners through a veterinarian.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) –  the official source of information for agriculture which includes the animal industry division.

National Resources and Organizations

American Humane Association provides information on animal emergency services. ​​

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has disaster response services nationally and in NYS and provides information on disaster preparedness, first aid and planning for animals in emergencies.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) disaster information: for animals

Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) – emergency sheltering and disaster relief services. United Animal Nations

Wildlife Resources​ – addressing wildlife issues in disasters. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)