Serious Saturday – Hill’s Science Diet Food, Shelter & Love Program and Disaster Relief Network
When one becomes immersed into the world of cat blogging the source of opinions, information, and topics to discuss are endless. We debate food and diet, vaccinations, letting cats outdoors, spay/neuter, cat breeding, and so much more. Some of us have strong opinions without wiggle room, some of us are still learning and a bit more neutral, and some of us just prefer to stay out of it all and post cute pictures of kitties that do not invite a wide berth of commentary.
For me, I am okay with all of the diversity and respect that each of us has different opinions because we all have unique circumstances in our lives due to our upbringings, financial situations, subject knowledge, and so forth. My main priority is what I would hope would be everyone’s main priority – that we do not deliberately put an animal in harm’s way, that we find ways to decrease the significant numbers of animals on the streets and in shelters, and that we find ways to increase shelter adoptions so that every animal has a safe and loving home one day.
In that regard, I applaud anyone or any company that helps in that effort and that was why I was so excited to be invited to work with the team at Hill’s Science Diet as part of their Blogger Outreach Program they are sponsoring. I was happy to learn about a program they established in 2002 called the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Program which has donated over $240 million worth of Science Diet brand foods to nearly 1,000 animal shelters nationwide to date. They have also helped over 7 million pets find new homes and the program helps feed more than 100,000 homeless pets every day. If you would like to learn more about it or are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit shelter that would like to apply, please click here for details.
More recently, Hill’s announced the establishment of its Disaster Relief Network through the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Program. Launched in May of this year, the network works with nearly 100 shelters across the country, allowing Hill’s to quickly deploy emergency food supplies to pets in need. For me, living in South Florida where hurricane season is a very real concern, I know only too well the devastating effects a disaster can wreck on a community and preparing in advance to make sure our beloved pets will be safe is of paramount concern to me.
And it’s not just South Florida anymore – in today’s world, natural disasters are becoming far too common and many communities that never thought they would ever be involved in a deadly situation are finding themselves dealing with floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and more. Learning about how to prepare for natural disaster emergencies should be something every pet parent takes seriously, regardless of geography and Hill’s recommends the following steps to prepare for an emergency event, including evacuation:
Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag with updated information.
Prepare an emergency box of pet supplies in a waterproof container that is readily accessible in the event of an evacuation. Emergency kits should include first aid supplies, a 3-day supply of pet food, bottled water, a safety harness and leash, waste cleanup supplies, medications if necessary, medical records, a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations, information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issue, comfort toys, and a blanket or sleeping bed.
Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house and include veterinarian’s contact information.
Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area – keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be able to shelter pets. Look for a list of pet friendly hotels available in your area before a disaster hits so that you have the information readily available and also think of possible friends or family who could help house you/and or your pet.
If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate if possible for transport and safe-keeping and have it readily available.
Carry a good picture of your pet with you in the event of a separation during evacuation. Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house because pets may hide if they are scared. Finding them quickly will help you evacuate faster.
Most importantly, do not take weather forecasts in stride thinking you can ride out the storm or that it will not be as bad as they make it out to sound. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our lives and the lives of our pets, so please make proper preparations for yourself and them.
I thank Hill’s for this invaluable advice and if any of you have tips you would like to share regarding disaster preparedness, please feel free to share.
“While my cats personally have been eating the Hill’s brand for years without compensation, this post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Science Diet for Cats, but Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.”