Due to the recent epidemic of wildfires in Central Texas, we’ve become very aware of the need for disaster preparedness. We’ve discussed the best way to evacuate ourselves and our pets and have made some basic preparations including making a checklist of steps to take if disaster threatens our home. For us, ensuring the safety of our pets is priority one, a sentiment shared by most pet parents.
But what if danger threatens pets who are at day care centers or being boarded at a kennel or staying in a pet-friendly hotel with their parents? How prepared are those facilities to safeguard not only the safety of the humans involved but also that of the animals?
To address this need, a new program has been developed by a Virginia-based company, Wag’N Enterprises. The Personalized Emergency Training Services (P.E.T.S.) Program is a comprehensive planning service aimed at pet boarding facilities, hotels, and pet day care centers. The program, the first of its kind in the US, begins with a comprehensive survey of a facility, identifying problem points. It then works with the facility to create a customized plan for dealing with various kinds of emergencies.
A P.E.T.S. plan will typically include training and instruction in:
• Incident command direction and control
• Crisis communications
• Emergency animal transportation and sheltering planning
• Basic pet emergency management exercises
• Fire extinguisher use
• Shelter-in-place planning
• Pet first aid, CPR & triage certification training
• Business continuity
• Disaster recovery planning
• Optional advanced courses and continued education/assessment
Executive Director of Pet Emergency Management Division at Wag’N Enterprises, Ines de Pablo, says that in the past, such intensive planning has traditionally only been done for human-care facilities like hospitals and schools. But, she says that,
“Since most pet parents consider their dog or cat their child, it’s equally important for businesses to prepare with P.E.T.S.”
De Pablo says that P.E.T.S. “meets or exceeds” all the guidelines set forth by the National Fire Protection Agency NFPA 150 and is customized to meet and remain in compliance with evolving Animal Protection and Emergency Sheltering plans issued by county and state Emergency Operation Plans.
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