Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 28, 2012

Horses need hurricane plans, too


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Evacuating when a hurricane hits the coast is a stressful and scary experience, especially when evacuating with horses. Hurricanes usually give enough lead time to move people and horses out of the storm’s expected path.

But even with that time, making sure you are prepared for an equine evacuation can be crucial to horses' survival.

Making the decision to leave as soon as possible is the first suggestion offered by Dr. William Moyer, professor and special assistant to the dean at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“If you wait until the last minute, you’re placing yourself and your horse in harm’s way," said Moyer, who noted more than 100,000 animals were lost during Hurricane Ike.

Among Moyer's other recommendations:



If you cannot evacuate your horse, or are forced to leave part of your herd behind, there are also precautions that can help you reunite with your horse. Keeping photographs helps, as does attaching identification information to the horse’s body.

“Braiding information wrapped in plastic to horses' manes and tails can help," said Moyer. "Livestock paint works well to put identification information on the body, and it’s waterproof. Or even taking a pair of clippers and shaving your contact information into the animal’s hair can help you reunite with your horse when you return.”

In addition to preparing your horse for evacuation, Moyer also suggested preparing yourself.

“Have a personal evacuation plan, too. You have to take care of yourself first to be able to take care of your horse.”

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Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.