Shooting them isn't the answer : why pets matter in disasters
With over 44% of those failing to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina doing so in part because they were unable to take their pets, the issue of pets in disasters has become a major issue and focus for emergency managers worldwide. The academic consensus is that pets are seen as part of the human family and that leaving them behind in an evacuation is contrary to public safety. This paper explores the human-animal bond and the implications of this for emergency managers and responders through an assortment of literature and media articles, providing the basis for taking an evidence based approach to companion animal emergency planning. Finally, a short commentary is offered on the development of the Civil Defence Disability Assist Dog tag in New Zealand and its benefits for the community and emergency response organisations.