WEATHER ALERT: Delawareans urged to take care of pets, livestock, poultry in tropical storm

Friday’s state of emergency is not a hurricane, but the weather is severe, and Elainea Goldthwaite, Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) Delaware Animal Response coordinator, is urging Delawareans to be mindful of their pets and livestock as the tropical storm runs its course.

People sheltering in place should bring their pets inside if at all possible to avoid injury from falling limbs, items being blown around by the high wind gusts and possible flooding, she said.

People who decide to evacuate due to the possible flooding and other weather conditions should take their pets with them. Be sure to take the following items with pets as a precaution, she advised:
o Medical records, vaccination history, and medications
o Current photographs of pets
o Veterinarian's phone number
o Documentation of any behavior problems
o Alternate contact information
o First aid kit
o Leashes, collars, or harnesses (extra sturdy), and muzzle (if necessary) with identification tags
o A pet carrier for each animal
o Food and water bowls, litter pan for cats
o Food and water for several days, can opener
o Toys, blanket

At this time, there is no official evacuation order for low-lying areas. Should evacuation be ordered, residents will be informed about the location of co-located human and pet shelters.

Livestock owners are urged to do the following:
o Check and secure all buildings and enclosures for loose boards, doors, window covers, tin sheeting, wire, and equipment that may blow around in high winds and injure livestock
o Do not let animals become trapped in low-lying pens or unsafe structures.
o Mark animals with an identifier so they can be returned to you if lost. Identifiers may include ear tags with the name of farm and/or phone numbers, brands, paint markings on hooves or coat, or clipped initials in the hair.
o Have enough food and water on hand for several days in accessible locations.
o Conditions may warrant having the animals weather the storm outside to avoid the danger of structure collapse:
o Put livestock in an area that is a minimum of 1 acre to provide animals space to move around to avoid blowing debris
o Area should have no overhead power lines or poles
o Provide alternate water sources in case power is lost and pumps and automatic waterers are not working after the disaster.
o Make sure food is accessible

Commercial poultry growers should check with the Delmarva Poultry Industry for emergency protocols to follow (phone: 302-856-9037,

For more information regarding pets and livestock, contact Elainea Goldthwaite: 800-282-8685 (Delaware only), 302-698-4622, 302-242-4092 (after business hours), e-mail: