NEW YORK — A survey conducted by the American Kennel Club says 62 percent of the 1,006 responding pet owners would defy authorities during a natural disaster to stay with pets if not allowed to evacuate with them.
The survey says:
- 97 percent would take their pets with them in an evacuation.
- 62 percent have a family evacuation plan in case a natural disaster hits.
- 61 percent have a pet evacuation plan.
- 23 percent were prompted to design an emergency plan for their pets after Hurricanes Katrina/Rita.
- Of those who do not have an evacuation plan for their pets, 22 percent say it is because they live in a geographic location that isn't a likely target for terrorism or is not susceptible to natural disasters or other disasters, while 52 percent said they would like to have one but didn't know how.
- 76 percent do not have the items assembled in a portable pet disaster kit in case of an immediate evacuation.
- 55 percent of respondents do not have a list of hotels that accept pets outside their area's evacuation zone.
"The threat of a disaster, both natural and otherwise, is always present," says AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "While owners surveyed care greatly for their pets, it's alarming that many of them are not prepared to evacuate their animals at a moment's notice."
- Southeast residents are the most prepared to safely evacuate their pets in case of an emergency, with 74 percent reporting that they have an evacuation plan, and 29 percent say they have pet disaster kits assembled.
- About 28 percent of Southeast residents designed a pet evacuation plan because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
- 16 percent of Northeast respondents vs. 8 percent nationally are prepared for a disaster.
- In the Midwest, 82 percent of pet owners claim they do not have a pet disaster kit assembled in case of an evacuation, the highest percentage in the nation.
The survey was conducted during a two-week period in May. A total of 1,006 surveyors responded voluntarily to 17 questions. Self-selecting methods were used in recruitment for this study.