Bugging Out with Pets - My Plan

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raptor
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Bugging Out with Pets - My Plan

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:21 pm

I read a thread in the archive about bugging out with pets. I though I would contribute my bug out plan for my pets. I am geared for bugging out with 6 cats. So there are some preparations that may not be usable for say fish, birds or other pets. Nevertheless these preparations are usable for dogs as well as cats.

I refined my plan after the lessons I learned during Katrina and in the aftermath of Katrina.

Observations from Katrina:
Many pets were abandoned or left at home during Katrina. As a result tens of thousands of pets perished by drowning when they could not get out of their home where their owner left them locked up.

Many more pets died a slow agonizing death from dehydration in the days immediately after Katrina when the temperature in the homes where they were locked exceeded 100 degrees and there was no or inadequate supply of water or a means to cool down. Most pets were left with a few days of food and water (on the floor).

Many more still live a miserable existence abandoned on the streets in parts of the city.

Cats did better than dogs. Many dogs were left chained out side to protect the house and drowned when the water came up. The cats in the houses often were able to find high places to perch above the flood waters and remain safe (at least assuming the water did not exceed the ceiling height).

The authorities killed (I do not mean euthanized, I mean shot) many pets as soon as the pets became inconvenient. The authorities also forced owners to abandon pets when they became inconvenient to the authorities. They also “rescued” pets only to turn the pets over to FEMA vets who then euthanized any they deemed injured, unhealthy or dangerous (the criterion for euthanasia was adjusted based up the convenience of the FEMA vet teams, i.e. inconvenience = near 100% euthanasia).

With this in mind I will not bug out without my pets. I will never under any circumstance allow a governmental entity any control whatsoever over my pets. I also have to assume that some government official will destroy my pets unless I can prove my pets are healthy when I bug out.

Preparations:

Pet ID Chips:
All of my pets have ID chips. An ID chip is inserted under the skin of your pet and broadcasts a number when a special transponder is placed close to it. With this number the organization scanning the pet can look up the owner (i.e. you). This is by no means fool proof, but it does improve the odds in your favor. All of your pets should be “chipped”. However be advised that there are at least 4 different and incompatible technologies in use. Does some research before you spend the money on the wrong chip.

Here is a link that explains the issues:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microchip_implant_(animal

Avid & Home Again are the 2 most popular in the US, but do some research and call your local animal shelter and ask what kind of scanners they use. Also like all technology these issues change as the technology evolves.

After Katrina these chips helped unite hundreds if not thousands of owners and displaced pets. They work. As an annual check I have the Vet check the chip number with his scanner to make sure they are still present and functional.

Evacuation:
If I leave my pets come with me. If they cannot come I will not go. This is my mantra and my philosophy.

Carrier:
I have purchased a carrier for each cat. On the top of each carrier in permanent marker I have written my name and “$$$ Reward if Found $$$”. I have also attached my business card with various numbers and email address with clear water proof tape. I also have written in pencil various cell phone numbers for my spouse, relatives and me. The reason to write them in pencil is that these numbers can change and will change if I have to bug out to a Plan B or C location. Prior to putting the cats in the carrier, all will have a collar put on them.

The carriers are stackable in case we have to make room in the vehicle for people or clothing. 3 of the carriers are large enough for 2 cats and 3 are one cat carriers only. My logic is that in a pinch I will double up the cats into 3 carriers. They may not like that but it beats leaving them home.

Supplies:
I have a 48 quart plastic container that I store the following items for my pet BOB:

2 – 4 pack of favorite canned cat food with a pop top
10lb bag of favorite dry food
8 – plastic food and water dishes
Envelope with collars (with rabies tag and chip id tag) and copies of latest vaccination records.
25 lbs of cat litter.
External check list
The actual container will be the cat box. I use one at home now and they are used to it.

Water will be carried in the car for humans and cats


Process & Plan:
My plan is to take my cats to safety and either board them at one of several boarding kennels or keep them with me. After Katrina I kept the cats with us in a hotel and then in the corporate apartments I rented. Both facilities were understanding and did not object however, I am not counting on future generosity. So I have identified boarding kennels in several cities.

Any evacuation will start with a car ride, either to the airport or to another city. My vehicles will be loaded first with a roof top carrier which will be loaded primarily with clothing. My BOB will be in the car and the cats will not be loaded until we are ready to go. Note the excitement of moving things will no doubt cause stress and my cats do like to run outside. Therefore they will have to be confined to the mud room where they will have food and bathroom facilities while the vehicle is loaded. I do not want have to spend hours chasing an escapee cat(s).

Cats are prone to heat stress/stroke. DO NOT leave the occupied carriers in the sun! If your car breaks down make sure to get the animals into the shade. Once the cats are loaded we go. At any stop someone will stay with the cats with the engine running and A/C working.

The problem is the cats will want to get out of the carriers and will have to use the bathroom, drink and eat. I plan to let them out in side the car. I also expect an accident or 2 from them, this is to be expected. Therefore have some paper towels and be prepared to
clean up any messes. The real risk to this is that the cat(s) will panic and somehow escape. If you let them out of the carrier(s) you must at all times keep track of them and keep the doors closed and windows shut.

Closing Thoughts:
Your pets not only need up to date vaccinations but you need to include their vaccination documents in with your BOB documents as proof of this. I image all of my important documents and keep these images on a USB thumdrive. My pet vaccination documents and a picture of me holding each cat are included in these imaged documents.

My pets are NOT like children to me. I do not put them in walkers or anything silly like that. Nevertheless they are a part of my family and I plan for them and I will not abandon them. Your pets rely on you to keep them safe. Pets are a 10 to 20 year commitment, they are not disposable and deserve your time and concern.
Last edited by raptor on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Leatherman » Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:50 am

Cool post, I have a 17 month old German Shepherd and yeah I won't be able to leave him. I have seen dog saddle bags at my local sports store, along with dog first aid kits. I plan on getting him one and getting him used to it as soon as possible, and fill it with bottles of water, food, and his first aid kit. I plan on taking him with me, but if it's a hurricane Katrina type situation it'd be hard to, I went on a trip down to Orleans a year after it was devastated and listened to a firefighter talk about what they went through, it was very hard with all the people let alone trying to take care of animals. While I would want to avoid it I would have to be willing to leave him, my safety and the safety of my family comes first, but I'd do my best to take him with me.

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Post by Apollo-11 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:32 am

Excellent, well thought out plan. We are now down to one cat; sadly, we had to put the other one down this year due to cancer. I absolutely would not bug out without her. We have pet carriers (several extras now) and quite a supply of dried food, canned food and treats. I also have a supply if dry food in our bug-in kit in the basement.

Good idea, sticking it all in a tote that will become the BOLB (bug out litter box).

I hadn't thought to getting my pet chipped to facilitate identification if we became separated... I somehow had a mental block that it would only be used if she ran away (which is unlikely because she is an indoor-only cat; we don't let her outside because I'm paranoid about other cats giving her diseases). I guess I am prejudiced against chipping in general because of all of the RFID paranoia stuff, but it would be a good idea for the pets...

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Post by Buddha » Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:40 am

Good Post.

We wouldn't go any place without our pets on board. We have two dogs 1st is a Fox Terrier 2nd a Maltese Terrier. The Foxy is NP he will go any place you do, do anything you do, eat anything you do. The Maltese is a different story. She would have to be on a harness. We have a small DOG BOB that has travel bowls, snacks, collapsible water bottle, coats + small blanket in it. Both dog have regular vet checks, micro chip implants etc etc. Just could never think about not taking the dogs, they are our kids. :)
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Post by half elf » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:02 am

it was very hard with all the people let alone trying to take care of animals.
If You self evacuate how do your pets become a government problem?, and how do they know if you have them?. I do not plan on being run through the PTB refugee program, and as such have several bolt hole setup across the country, with kin folk. I will not willingly become a refugee, but even then I still have a trade and just need tools to find employment(Diesel Mechanic).
My critters will be with me if I am moving out, as they are better behaved than my kids, and eat less.
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Post by Tac Medic » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:18 am

Dogs are members of the Team. Early warning system and last line of defense. Leave No Man Behind

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Post by mk_ultra » Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:35 pm

We got a second cat this summer , and I was surprised to find how much more difficult the prospect of having to take off with two cats versus just the one seems to be.

It is actually something that has been on my mind a bit and the first thing I need to do is get a carrier that will accomodate both of them.

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Post by shenkhu » Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:21 pm

bug out with ball pythons.... let me think about this one!!!

i'll just let them loose, there is not much i can do...
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Post by herbalpagan » Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:15 am

we have a BOB for our dogs...dishes,food,leashes etc.. I was watching Animal Planet and they had a repeat of the Westminister Dog Show on and they had a new commercial. It was talking about how humans have an emergency kit, but we need to remember the pets as well and then made suggestions and gave links. It seems that a lot of places are actively encouraging BOB's now. :D
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shtfm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post by CommonHighrise » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:31 pm

My dogs a big part of my SHTF-bugout plan. Along with the usual hiking/camping dog supplies, some things to consider...
Chest Protector

Boots

Check Leash

Supplements

Before seriously considering taking your dog with for a bugout, or even an overnight camping trip or extended hike, you should definatley have him trained in obeidience. Tricks are nice, but when you give an 'Emergency Down' call, and the dog goes on his belly so quick he skids, thats what could save your dogs or your life. Also, without sounding too tacticool, I have my dog trained on hand signals for simple commands (Down, Sit, Stay, Heel, Come). One of the best tools Ive found for training dogs is an RC Collar. It looks harsher than it is, as in most medium to long haired dogs itll only give a pinch for a correction, and the sell rubber caps to protect shorter haired dogs. Get some books and learn up, so you know how to properly use the collar to train effectivley. 95% of dog training is actually training the handler to think like a dog.

Since I mentioned hair length, if you have a longer haired dog, and you dont already own a De-Matting Brush, get one. Mats can lead to some pretty nasty skin problems, including parasites, infection, and death. Not to mention grooming strengthens the bond between animal and handler, and is a good way to reduce stress for the both of you.

I saw dog backpacks or ruck mentioned earlier. Such a cute idea. Dont do it. If the extra 10lbs of supplies for you to carry isnt worth having the animal with to you, dont bother bringing them with. Itll hurt your dog very quickly.
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Post by xringmick » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:37 pm

foo
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Post by Lordiego » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:16 am

great post.

I have a 3 year old airedale and I wouldnt/couldn't abandon her anywhere or to anybody. She is part of the family, and family needs to stick together.

I'm now thinking of getting a second dog, just to keep her company, and because, the only thing better than a dog, is two dogs.

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Post by Erik » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:14 pm

If I have to bug out, I'll probably do it without pets. I'm going to concentrate 100% on keeping my wife and I alive. Pets are disposable compared to my wife.

-Erik

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Post by airballrad » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:26 pm

If we have to evacuate, we have one cat that gets stuffed into her crate (or a pillowcase, in a very hasty evac) and into the car. She is very fond of the canned food we'd be taking, so that angle is covered too. Damn cat can hear a can opener work from a dead sleep.

That said, most of my plans involve bugging in. In that case, the cat has about 3 months of dry food on-hand, which probably puts her in better shape than us :shock:

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Post by kir » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:48 pm

CommonHighrise wrote:I saw dog backpacks or ruck mentioned earlier. Such a cute idea. Dont do it. If the extra 10lbs of supplies for you to carry isnt worth having the animal with to you, dont bother bringing them with. Itll hurt your dog very quickly.
While I've never had to bug out with my German Shepherd, I do go camping and hiking with her on a regular basis. She carries her own food, water, bowls and FAK in a pack. We take some pretty rugged terrain and I've never noticed any reduction in her capabilities nor has she ever been injured.

It concerns me though that you said I could hurt her "very quickly". Is there some danger I am overlooking?

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Post by Obiwan » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:06 pm

We have two cats...they are very much members of our family

But I am with Erik...they are animals...people come first

Making them an integral part of our survival plan would involve some training in Vietnamese cooking :wink:
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Post by raptor » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:36 pm

I am from Katrina land and as such bugging out will most likely entail an evacuation for a hurricane. My plan A for other events may involve bugging in or bugging out. Nevertheless I will plan for any pets I have.

Nevertheless, I can see instances where it is impractical to provide for a pet. For instance an event such as TEOTWAWKI will require a different response than say an evacuation for a hurricane. While I would never abandon a pet willingly, I can understand others may for a variety of reasons have to by no choice of their own.

Therefore I will post some of my observations made post Katrina that either resulted in the needless death of pets or aided their survival.

If you have to abandon a pet:

Do not lock them in the house with no way to get out. In southern areas the heat inside a locked house will after a few days exceed the ambient temperature by 10 to 15 degrees. You will cook your pet if you do this. If you can leave a door open so they can come and go. (if the situation so grave that you have to abandon your pet any damage to your house should be of secondary concern.)

Do leave as much food and water in a place secure from the weather so that they have a chance to survive long enough to try to get acclimated to the fact that they are now on their own and thus SOL when the food runs out. If you have a 2 story house put some food upstairs also.

Cats and dogs like people can survive a long time without food, but a short time without water. Leave containers out side so that rain water will collect for them and provide a longer term water source.

Do not give them up for dead. I know of people reunited with their pets months after Katrina flooded their homes. The pets survived with a bit pluck & luck; many stayed around familiar territory, their old homes. All were very glad to see their owners! If you can go back, look for your pet and call their name. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Do not chain dogs up in the yard before a possible flood. You would be amazed at how many dog corpses were found chained in their yard. the owners left them to protect the house.

Finally rather than simply dumping the pet on the side of the road in a strange location to starve or simply moving away or bug out and leave the pet, consider mercifully & humanely destroying the pet. Since that will be the end result in most cases, you at least owe it to the pet to make sure it does not suffer by providing a quick and painless death. This beats starving to death or otherwise dying of exposure.

Lets face it, many of the smaller show dog breeds and older (& or unhealthy) animals will not last long when they are abandoned by their owners. Your abandonment of them only spares you the guilt or remorse you may feel when you destroy them and have to deal with the resulting body. This way you can believe that they are happy and free instead of dying from thirst or drowning in your back yard struggling tied to a leash.

If you chose to abandon your animal (whether it is a PAW event or even just a household change) you have an obligation to that animal to do the best thing for it that you can. Chose your actions accordingly.

Personally I will stick to my mantra: If I go my pets come with me and if they can't go to safety then, I am not going.
Last edited by raptor on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by CommonHighrise » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:14 pm

kir wrote:
CommonHighrise wrote:I saw dog backpacks or ruck mentioned earlier. Such a cute idea. Dont do it. If the extra 10lbs of supplies for you to carry isnt worth having the animal with to you, dont bother bringing them with. Itll hurt your dog very quickly.
While I've never had to bug out with my German Shepherd, I do go camping and hiking with her on a regular basis. She carries her own food, water, bowls and FAK in a pack. We take some pretty rugged terrain and I've never noticed any reduction in her capabilities nor has she ever been injured.

It concerns me though that you said I could hurt her "very quickly". Is there some danger I am overlooking?
If you have a shep, you already know about the hips. Adding weight to the mid-back is just compounding their dillema. The injury that is most likely to happen is a back injury, as dogs arent built to support weight on the spine vertically. I cant say all dog packs will hurt all dogs (I was a bit spirited in my last post from reading about people entombing their pets to die during Katrina). If its <5lbs total, and its good fitting pack on a sturdy animal, then you could use it years without issues. I just fail to see the point in it.
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Post by SkullGirl » Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:37 pm

My dog goes with me no matter what. She will NOT be left behind in any circumstances. I have been working on her BOB since someone posted a thread about animal BOBs.

Great information and suggestions in this thread. THanks!
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Post by Grin Reaper » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:29 pm

Dogs are members of the Team. Early warning system and last line of defense. Leave No Man Behind
+ freakin' 1
Early warning system -- check
Last line of defense -- check
Auxillary heating unit -- check
Kitchen spills cleanup and leftover disposal -- check

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Post by ZombieCleaner » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:32 pm

I have a dog and about 6 or 7 cats. Not to mention fish.
I honestly dont know what I would do about them.
Jagdwulfe wrote:Does that make Gundown into Egg Chen? :shock:

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Post by raptor » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:38 pm

ZombieCleaner wrote:I have a dog and about 6 or 7 cats. Not to mention fish.
I honestly dont know what I would do about them.
I know people who for one reason or another left their pet(s) at home for Katrina. I witnessed several reunions between "safe but lost" pets and their owners. It never failed to bring everyone present to tears of joy.

The people looked like they were attending a funeral at first; then when they find their pet safe and sound they look like they have just been given a new lease on life, won the Powerball Lottery and turned 10 years younger all in one moment.
Last edited by raptor on Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ZombieCleaner » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:40 pm

Well it would really depend on the situation.
If it were a flood, I'd most deff. try to take them with me, as we live on a lake.
Any other natural disaster, I would be left wondering if i made the right decision, etc.
Jagdwulfe wrote:Does that make Gundown into Egg Chen? :shock:

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Post by Apollo-11 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:45 am

Obiwan wrote:We have two cats...they are very much members of our family

But I am with Erik...they are animals...people come first

Making them an integral part of our survival plan would involve some training in Vietnamese cooking :wink:
Maybe for you! My cat is essential to my mental health.

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