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How to prepare for hurricane season if you have pets

Here's which boxes need to be checked off before, during and after a hurricane, if you have pets.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend is no stranger to severe weather. In fact, with hurricane season right around the corner, right now is when preparations should start.

Ashley Gonzalez shared which boxes need to be checked off before, during and after a hurricane if you have pets.

Every year around this time, folks along the coast start prepping for the worst but hoping for the best: hurricane season.

With that, animal service organizations are reminding the community before the storm, while you are getting yourself and your family ready don't forget about your pets.

"Backup dog food in case the stores are closed or you're not able to get to the stores, those are the types of things," said Sharon Ray, the Executive Director of Gulf Coast Humane Society, "If your animals on medication, whether it be, some animals are on insulin and it has to be refrigerated, make sure you have a backup cooler or something that's ready to go".

If your pet doesn't like thunder or heavy rain, make sure they have something to calm their nerves, this way, they won't try to run off.

"Dogs sometimes like that security, some of them react well to what are called 'thunder shirts' which is just a tight-fitting shirt that they wear. Some of them need some relaxing pheromones that you can buy at Petco or PetSmart, Earthwise, those types of places or you can also talk to your doctor, and they can give you some medication that will really help relax your pets," said Ray.

During the storm, if it's time to evacuate, it's always best and recommended you take your animal with you.

"With flying debris," Ray added, "especially if it's a serious hurricane even if it's just a lot of wind that causes debris, it can cause damage and serious trauma to pets".

 But, in the event, you are not able to take them, Animal Care Services said, residents won't have to pay a fine:

"During an emergency, the citizens don't need to worry about getting in trouble," said Joel Skidmore with Animal Care Services, "they need to worry about and have a peace of mind that me and animal care services are gonna do everything we can to help them be reunited with any lost pet".

And after the storm, both ACS and Gulf Coast Humane Society offer services that can connect you with your pet if they got lost.

"Updated ownership information, updated phone numbers, updated addresses that way if you do get separated from your animal and we pick it up, we can reunite you," Skidmore added.

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1st, but make sure you have a plan before a storm hits. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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