Serious Saturday – Hill’s Science Diet Food, Shelter & Love Program and Disaster Relief Network

deb-show

I went to a CFA Cat Show last weekend with proceeds of the show going to the nonprofit, Cats Exclusive (I am seen here with Chelsea of Cats Exclusive). The best part about the show was despite the wide mix of venue from pedigree to rescue cats, we all share a common love for these animals.

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.

shelter_nav_logosIn 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.

mia-outside

There is no doubt South Florida is a wonderful place to live, but this beautiful backyard that Mia is exploring was once a scene of severe devastation after Hurricane Wilma hit us in 2005.

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.

large black paw-safetyAnd 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.”

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  1. Beverly says:

    I’m glad you are doing this, Deb. Hill’s is a great company.

  2. Brian says:

    Hills is sure doing some mighty fine things and we all surely do appreciate it!

  3. What a great article Deb, very informative!! Oh, and Go Hill’s!!

  4. Great advice. Thanks for the info

  5. mariodacat says:

    Hills is a great company and they give a lot back to the animal community.

  6. Sue Brandes says:

    How wonderful they do all that. Love hearing how companies help animals. Some great advice for preparing for a emergency too. Some of those I never thought of like having a photo handy.

  7. This is such important info to share, and I better get cracking on my Hill’s post. Happy Caturday!

  8. Kitties Blue says:

    What a great post. How generous of Hill’s to do all these amazing things to help the kitties. Bravo. Thanks for all the information on what to do if disaster strikes. I am wondering how you manage this with having a houseful of cats as I do. Having all the items needed for eight cats would require an addition onto the house I think. We are very lucky to be in a relatively disaster free area; though, we never know what the future holds. Let me know if you have any tips for those of us with a large number of kitties. Thanks, Janet

  9. Great article and what great work Hill’s is doing.

  10. Those are some great things that Hill’s is doing. Good for them!

  11. Andrea Dorn says:

    This is great information for all pet owners to keep in mind. I’m afraid I’m not well prepared for a disaster like these. The biggest threat to my neighborhood is tornadoes or a fire. It would be difficult to prepare for either of those, especially with so many cats as I have.

    I do try to keep a good supply of my cats’ meds on hand in case flooding or snowstorms keep me from getting to my vet. I have a warehouse-full of carriers available in case I have to load them all up and have most of them microchipped.

    But your post reminds me that I still have plenty to do to ensure the safety of my pets. I’d better get to work!

  12. After the 1989 quake, the Human prepared a great emergency kit with all kinds of Human and Kitty stuff. But of course over the years she gotted lazy and now we don’t have it anymore. *I* think she better put it together again with at least the important stuff–the KITTY stuff–inside! Great tips ;-)

  13. Yeah Hill’s! You’ll have to let us know how Pawsitively can benefit.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys…we wood like ta noe if yur mom wented home with de hat; shades ore leopard hiz self :)