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​In a hurricane, pets are subjected to the same hazards as people and have many of the same needs. You cannot bring your pet to the Emergency Public Shelter. Evacuating to a friend's home or pet-friendly hotel outside of the evacuation zone would be a good plan. If that isn't available, you can bring your cat or dog to South Fort Myers High School, the Pet-Friendly Shelter.

Lee County Animal Services manages this shelter. This shelter is first-come, first-served, and there is no pre-registration required. You must shelter at the school with your pet (in other words, you cannot drop your pet at the shelter and leave). Owners are responsible for feeding, exercising and cleaning up after their pets.

Your pet will need a Hurricane Disaster Kit, too. Include water, non-perishable food, medications and clean-up supplies. You will need a crate or carrier, collar and leash, and up-to-date vaccination records for your pet. Having a recent photo of your pet will be helpful if you get separated.

Remember:

  • Never leave your pets outside during a storm.
  • Never leave a cat with a dog, even if the two are normally friends.
  • Confine and keep small pets (birds, hamsters, etc.) away from cats and dogs.
  • Dangerous animals should be secured in special crates or cages.
  • Any unsecured animals posing a danger will be at risk of being destroyed.

Call Lee County Animal Services at 239-533-7387 for more information on the Pet Friendly Shelter, or go to www.LeeLostPets.com.