Protect your pet in a disaster

Your responsibility

New Zealand’s animal welfare legislation - Animal Welfare Act 1999 - requires owners of animals, and persons in charge of animals, to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the animals are met.

These physical, health and behavioural needs are defined in the Act (as what are generally referred to) as the Five Freedoms:

  1. Proper and sufficient food and water
  2. Adequate shelter
  3. Opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
  4. Physical handling in a manner which minimises the likelyhood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress
  5. Protection from and rapid diagnosis of significant injury or illness.

In a disaster these Five Freedoms must still be met. This means the Animal Welfare Act therefore remains in force and you are legally responsible for your pets in a disaster.


Prepare for your pet in a disaster or you could lose each other forever

Local authorities (through their responsibility for human welfare) should ensure that pets are considered during an evacuation. And also provide temporary shelter for those animals whose owners are just unable to care for them.

But in a disaster, resources are inevitably stretched. Abandoning your pet or handing your responsibility for them over to overburdened local authorities, could limit your chance to be reunited, which means you could lose each other forever.


Prepare for your pet and they could end up saving your life

Instead of losing your pet forever, your pet could actually keep your entire family safely together in a disaster. By making a Disaster Plan for your family pet it will stop delays or panicked wrong decisions being made that could end up putting your precious lives (and others) at risk. With a plan you will instead be prepared to evacuate fast or stay put with sufficient supplies when a disaster strikes.

Save precious time and precious lives in a disaster.


free downloadable disaster packs