Before a storm comes experts recommend taking steps to make sure you don't lose your pet

TULSA - Following severe weather it can be a common sight. Family pets, lost after running away, unsure where their home is.

"If an animal is in fear, especially if their normal environment or your house were to get caught in a storm or tornado, they are going to run for cover," said Erin Ayres, an associate veterinarian with Riverbrook Animal Hospital in Tulsa. 

The Humane Society of Tulsa's Dan Canfield recommends making it clear where your pet came from, with a collar including your name, address and phone number.

"God forbid your animal gets away from you, it is the first thing people are going to look for to see if it belongs to somebody," Canfield said.

He also recommends micro-chipping your pet. Canfield said your pet can lose their collar but not a microchip.

With a trip to the vet and as little discomfort as a human flu shot, a chip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted between your cat or dog's shoulder blades.

"That is able to be scanned by a scanner that most vet clinics will have," Ayres said. "So any vet clinic should be able to administer those."

You address and phone number are stored in a secure database and if your pet is found, vets or animal shelters can help reunite you.

"Hold down the button and run it over their back," Ayres said while scanning a dog's microchip. "It brings up a number that we can search within the database."

Remember, if you move, update your chip's address and phone number. 

If you don't know where to look for a pet after a major storm, sometimes temporary animal rescue shelters are established. Last year following the EF-5 tornado in Moore, shelters were set up in parking lots around town .

That is where many owners were reunited with their pets.

Finally, any loud or intense storms can be traumatic for pets. Whether injured or frightened, a pet can be on edge. That is a good reason to approach with caution.

"But if an animal makes you feel uncomfortable about approaching it, don't," Canfield said. "Contact professionals and let them handle it."


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