0

RSPCA issues flood advice ahead of forecast thunderstorms

Some may have been enjoying a heatwave this week, but it's all about to come to an end as the Met Office issues a yellow warning for heavy downpours.

The predicted thunderstorms could pose a flooding risk, and animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, has issued advice for pet owners.

RSPCA companion animal scientist Alice Potter said, "This changing weather is really keeping us on our toes - one day we are giving advice on keeping animals cool and the next we are talking about flooding but it’s best to be prepared.

"Pet owners should keep an eye on the weather forecast in their area and plan ahead to make sure their animals are safe.

"It might be necessary to keep cats inside if the winds become very extreme. Dog owners should plan walks so that the extreme weather can be avoided. Two or three shorter walks may be a better option to avoid being out in the wet weather for a long period of time.

"We can all take simple steps to help animals during extreme weather however our inspectors are on-call around the clock so they can help if the worst should happen."

Before:

  • Plan your escape route.  
  • Ensure you can be contacted in an emergency. Keep phone numbers of people who can help move your animals.  
  • Download the RSPCA's Flood advice poster (PDF 174KB) for helpful emergency numbers.

Pets:

  • Make sure you have suitable carriers for small animals.
  • Keep a supply of food for evacuation
  • Bring all small animals inside and, if possible, upstairs.  
  • Move food, bedding and fresh water somewhere dry.  
  • Keep favourite toys dry, these may comfort your pet.  
  • Put important documents such as microchip numbers, vets and vaccination details in a sealed bag, along with a photo of your pet in case they get lost.
  • Small animals must be transported in suitable carriers, birds in a secure cage and dogs using sturdy leashes.  
  • Remember to take your animals’ food, water, bowls and bedding with you.  
  • If you have to leave your animals behind, leave them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water. Leave notices on the outside doors to say there are animals inside and contact us or your local Flood Warden immediately.

Livestock/horses:

  • Ensure any extra gates you need for emergency access are fitted and attach your details on field gates.  
  • Animals will need to be moved to high ground early.  
  • Make sure you have emergency feed and fresh water supplies.
  • If you haven’t already, move animals to high ground if the escape route is accessible .  
  • Make sure you have emergency feed and fresh water supplies.

If disaster strikes:

  • Put your flood plan for your animals into action.
  • Don’t put your own or another life in danger to attempt an animal rescue.

The RSPCA is part of Defra's National Flood Response Team and in an emergency, you can contact them on 0300 1234 999. For more information on flood warnings call Floodline or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.

RSPCA Inspectors Flood Rescue

RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Steve Smith in heavy rain during training on flood water