Emergency Preparedness for your Pet

Sep 08, 2017

Like many of you, my heart has been heavy seeing the images coming out of southeastern Texas with the recent landfall of hurricane Harvey and now with Irma. Apart from donating to those affected, it’s easy to feel helpless in these situations. I often find myself having a hard time really grasping what’s happening when we live so far away. But even here in the Upstate, disasters both big and small can strike. One thing we can learn from events like hurricanes is how to be more prepared for the future. While we always recommend you prioritize your safety in the event of an emergency, here are 5 simple steps you can take now to help ensure the safety of your pet:

1. Get a rescue alert sticker! Again, we always recommend prioritizing yourself in the event of an emergency. By ordering a rescue alert sticker, you can let rescue personnel know that pets are inside your home. You can order one for FREE online at https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack

2. Check the chip! Microchip your pet and keep your information up to date! Many pets go missing each year following car accidents, holiday fireworks, and thunderstorms to name a few examples. Having your pet microchipped is one way to help identify your pet and reunite them with you. At Hillcrest Animal Hospital, our microchips register your pet for life and all you need to do is keep your information updated should your address or telephone number change. If you aren’t sure if your pet is microchipped or have misplaced the number, come by Hillcrest Animal Hospital and we will be happy to scan your pet. You can even use this website to help identify the company the chip belongs to so that you can contact them to update your information: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/

3. Know who to call Always keep our phone number and clinic hours handy, as well as the emergency clinic’s phone number and hours. Here is information for reference:


         Phone: 864-967-7387

         Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8A-7P; Saturday 8A-2P.

         Address: 1211 East Georgia Rd., Simpsonville, SC 29681


        Phone: 864-232-1878

        Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 6P-8A; Noon Saturday-8A Monday

        Address: 393 Woods Lake Road, Greenville, SC 29607

       PET POISON HELPLINE 855-764-7661 (24 Hours)

       -or- ANIMAL POISON CONTROL 888-426-4435 (24 hours)

4. Learn First Aid/CPR: Consider taking Dr. Mayer’s pet First Aid and CPR class offered through Greenville Parks and Recreation, and also consider making a home First Aid/CPR kit. In the event that you cannot get to a veterinary clinic in time or you need to administer first aid, you may want the following items easily accessible (based on the ASPCA’s recommendations):

Absorbent gauze pads

Adhesive tape

Cotton balls or swabs

Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with a veterinarian or animal poison control expert before giving to your pet, it is always better to have your veterinarian induce vomiting in a controlled setting when possible)

Ice pack

Scissors with a blunt end


Styptic powder

Saline eye solution


Small flashlight

Alcohol wipes

Artificial tear gel

OTC antibiotic ointment

The name and number of Hillcrest Animal Hospital, local emergency clinics (you will want to locate emergency clinics near your destinations when traveling with your pet), and pet poison control

5. Do not leave your pets behind. As the ASPCA website advises,  “If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets”. If for some reason you do find yourself needing to evacuate your home or leave for an extended period of time and cannot take your pet with you, it will be helpful to know in advance who you can call. Make a list now of nearby boarding facilities, pet friendly hotels/motels and nearby friends and family that would be able to care for your pet.

I hope you never experience a serious emergent situation with your pet, but I hope these tips have helped you feel more prepared in the unlikely event that you do.

Have a safe and happy September, everybody!

Dr. Vessalo

For more information on our Pet CPR/First Aid class, visit https://greenvillerec.com/Recreation or call the clinic at 864-967-7387

Additional pet emergency preparedness resources