EDMOND, Okla., July 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Edmond, Oklahoma is no stranger to severe weather, according to one local veterinarian. She says most families have plans in place to get to safety during tornadoes and other dangerous weather events. While residents have carefully crafted plans for safety as a family, the veterinarian warns that some people have not created plans that include their pets. Dr. Jennifer Bianchi of the White Oaks Veterinary Clinic is working tirelessly to raise awareness about the critical need for pet owners to come up with an effective plan for their pets in the aftermath of a weather-related disaster.
Edmond veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Bianchi, strongly encourages pet owners to act now in order to prepare for the aftermath of tornadoes and what it can mean for the care of their pets. "Pets are family members too, but when the Moore tornado occurred in 2013, many pets were not recovered by their families," Dr. Bianchi warns.
The doctor adds that it is especially hard to locate animals in the aftermath of tornadoes when families are displaced. She says some residents are unable to return home for months, or decide to rebuild elsewhere, making it even more difficult to reunite with their lost pets.
Dr. Bianchi offers suggestions for preparing for pet care related to extreme weather. She recommends having all pets implanted with microchip identification. "It's the simplest solution by far," she said. "Families that have made this step have more success locating their pets, even if they are in shelters, facilities, or veterinary clinics in other counties." According to the veterinarian, pets are often an unintended victim of tornadoes and area-wide weather events of an extreme nature. Without microchip identification it can be incredibly difficult to reunite lost pets with their owners.
Dr. Bianchi emphasizes that collars fall off, or the tags get removed or damaged, leading to no way to identify pets and match them with their owners. "Storms happen and pets without identification have a much lower chance of being returned to their families," said Dr. Bianchi, "They simply cannot be identified."
"Microchipping is a cost effective type of insurance pet owners hope they will never need. However, if the need ever does arrive and families are separated from pets during tornadoes, it's an incredible relief to know, one way or another, what happened to a beloved pet."
Dr. Bianchi also adds that families who are separated from pets during storms should contact the Edmond Animal Shelter (405-216-7615) as well as local veterinarians when trying to locate their missing pets. She said, "After area-wide storms, it's sort of an all-in effort to help protect the pets discovered in the aftermath. While microchips certainly make it easy, families shouldn't give up hope until they've exhausted efforts such as this to find their missing pets."
White Oaks Veterinary Clinic, 1-888-667-5235