Caring for Your Pets During an Evacuation

Key Contacts

The Animal Care Line may be used by the province to coordinate requests for assistance from pet owners and hobby farms during an emergency (e.g., flooding). Regular hours of operation are between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, with weekend and holiday monitoring. Hours may be extended during an evacuation.  

 Before Evacuation

  • Pet owners should have a plan for their pets if they must evacuate their home. Owners should take all pets with them or make alternate arrangements with family, friends or boarding kennels.
  • Pet owners need to be aware that if animals are being boarded at a kennel or shelter, one requirement for boarding may be that vaccines be current. For dogs this will likely include DA2PP, rabies, bordatella. For cats this will likely include FVRCP and rabies. For ferrets this will likely include distemper and rabies. Some facilities may require a vaccine for feline leukemia as well. If animals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, owners should have a letter from their veterinarian stating this.
  • Prepare an Animal Emergency Supply Kit with at least one week's worth of supplies for your animal. Store supplies in a water resistant/proof container with a lid.
  • In the event you are not present to evacuate your pet, practice the buddy system. Arrange for someone else to evacuate your pet for you.
  • If pet owners cannot keep their pets with them, alternatives include:
    • boarding kennel, animal rescue or shelter or a veterinary office outside of the evacuated zone
    • friend or family outside of the evacuated zone
    • consider a pet friendly hotel; call in advance to confirm availability and be aware that most hotels require that pets be kept in a carrier when the owner is not in the room
  • Keep animals restrained at all times when in evacuated areas as unfamiliar environments, noises or smells can spook animals and cause them to flee.
  • If you are leaving your pets with someone, make sure you provide adequate food, supplies and medication they may need.
  • Make sure your pets have proper collars, required licenses or tags and ID tags.
  • Make sure you take documents that show your pets have all required shots.

 During Evacuation

  • When moving pets, ensure they are in a proper transportation kennel or container and have access to food, water and emergency care. Remember to take food and water containers.
  • Keep proper animal control equipment with the animal such as leads or leashes.

 After Evacuation

  • When you return home, keep an eye on pets because:
    • familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and they may be confused.
    • downed or exposed power lines or disrupted wildlife may be a hazard.
  • Keep your pets leased or locked up until they seem calm and their personalities have returned to normal.


For more information, please contact the Animal Care Line, or call 204-945-8000 (in Winnipeg); 1-888-945-8001 (toll free).