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Planning ahead for animal safety

With the hot, dry weather and proximity of fires in the area, making plans for an emergency evacuation is both prudent and wise.

Think about and decide what you would take and where you would go if you had to leave your home quickly.

This includes planning ahead for the animal members of your household, too.

If you don’t already have an emergency plan in place, visit the Ready Colorado website ( for information on what you’ll need and what to do. Click on “create a plan” and choose from a variety of categories, including personal and animal. You can also pick up a copy of the pet planning brochure from the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs animal shelter or thrift store. Remember the old adage: failure to plan is planning to fail. Be wise, be prepared.

In an evacuation scenario, most people keep their companion animals with them, having made previous arrangements with friends, relatives or finding lodging that allows pets to stay with the family. For some people, however, keeping their family pets under the same roof is not an option. If a large local emergency evacuation becomes a reality, the Humane Society will mobilize to assist with creating temporary shelter for small companion animals that have no other options for refuge. The Humane Society does not have the equipment or expertise to assist with large animal evacuation.

If you are a large animal owner, we urge you to prepare an evacuation plan that will work for you and your animals. For planning ideas, visit the Ready Colorado website for general information and the local High Country Horse Council website ( for information specific to Archuleta County. You might also consider talking with your veterinarian and other large animal owners about potential safe options for evacuation and temporary safe haven.

Take the time to plan ahead, and follow breaking news on the local emergency management website (, local radio and The SUN website, pagosasun. com. We owe it to our families and animals to be prepared.

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