Bugging out with Pets

Started by Raptor, June 07, 2021, 12:58:00 PM

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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.


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:


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.

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

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.

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 several 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 thumbdrive. 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.
I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers.

As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.


Quote from: Raptor on June 07, 2021, 12:58:00 PM
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.

This is so true! We only have one cat, he's an indoor/outdoor cat that we take VERY good care of. We've collar and leash trained him and have brought him on other adventures but I'm too paranoid and we leave him home with a cat door which will soon have an actuator on it so we can lock/unlock it remotely.

All of this information is so well thought out, I'm sending it to the wife so we can add it to our BO plan, as well as make sure we have his information next to ours on thumb drives and in folders.
The original Half gettin sum land thread

Quote from: SpazzyTell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...


Quote from: Raptor on 6/7/2021, 1:58:00 PM
QuoteMy 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.

I'm a dog person and my geriatric dog? I'm in the process of a bug out bag for him (a beagle). And if I have to get out of Dodge? I'M TAKING CARE OR HIM COME HELL OR HIGH-WATER! Not kidding, my dogs? (we just had to put our Golden down) I'm not letting anyone come between them and me. He is my buddy and I'd go through nearly anything for him, probably more than some of my family even.


This is great information. I had not considered vet records. Adding that to my important docs and to do list prior to leaving.
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