MURRAY, UTAH (ABC4 News) – With the recent Utah earthquakes, animal shelters have an urgent reminder to pet owners to get their pets ready in case an earthquake hits close to home. 

The Humane Society of Utah says over 60 percent of Utahns are pet owners.  

“When looking at your emergency preparedness plan for your family, don’t forget your pet,” says HSU’s Deann Shepherd. “Make sure they have an emergency kit you can quickly grab for them.”

She says one thing you can do right away is make sure your pets’ ID is up to date.

“The first thing to do to prevent anything from happening with your pets is to make sure they have a collar, an ID tag on, and the best thing we recommend doing is microchipping your pet,” says Shepherd. “So if you do get separated from your pet then you’ll have a way to hopefully be reunited.” 

It’s advice Emily Ziegler and Jake Pitts are taking to heart being new pet owners.  They just got their rescue puppy over the weekend.

“We are going to the vet today to get her first check up and talk to the vet about getting microchipped,” says Pitts.

Before the big one hits Utah, HSU says you may want to call your local shelter and veterinarian to see if you can keep your pet there.

“Have some type of plan on where you can go with your animal. If there is a pet-friendly hotel, a friend or family member that you can go to with your animal,” says Shepherd. “It’s most unlikely that you would be able to take your pets into a human shelter unless it is a service animal.”

HSU recommends: 

  • 7-days worth of bottled water for each pet.

  • 7-days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food for each pet.

  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls.

  • Extra collars and tags, harnesses and leashes for all pets.

  • Copies of pet medical and vaccination records.

  • A 2-week supply of medication and copy of any current prescriptions.

  • A recent photo of you with your pet.

  • A crate or traveling carrier large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.

  • Disposable litter trays with litter for cats and extra cage liners for dogs.

  • Tools and supplies for sanitation and waste cleanup.

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include).

Shepherd adds, “If your animal is tied up they won’t be able to find food or water or escape danger.”

One thing you can rely on your pets for is the initial warning something may be coming.

“They might be your earthquake monitor. If they start to act really nervous and scared, they might be actually feeling the tremors that you are not able to feel,” she says.

Ziegler and Pitts hope their new puppy will pick up that trait up quickly.

“She is already the sweetest dog. And we really wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her. We want to be as prepared as possible,” says Pitts.