Joyful reunions are wonderful, and can remind us of what really matters. The residents of Pajaro, who had to evacuate with no notice and only the clothes on their backs, certainly have our hearts.
Many had no choice but to leave their pets behind; we're sure most never imagined they'd be away for this long. We're heartened to learn of the efforts from SPCA Monterey County in rescuing animals and working to reunite them with their people.
It's a potent reminder that disasters often happen with no notice. It's also a reasonable reminder to take the time beforehand for emergency preparedness with your animals in mind. You may or may not be near a levy or a landslide, but we all live in earthquake country. To save you time, feel free to use our Pet Ready! checklist with links for additional helpful info.
It's also a dramatic reminder that pets can get separated from their humans. If you haven't already, you might want to consider having the microchip implanted the next time you're in to see your vet. The microchip itself is an extremely small electronic chip, encased in glass, and the whole unit is about the size of a grain of rice. It won't let you (or anyone else) track your animal; people who want tracking often get a special collar for a Tile or an Apple Tag or similar device.
Instead, the microchip is placed directly in the animal's body and only gets activated when a scanner passes over the area. To learn more, feel free to discuss with your veterinarian. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides a nice FAQ on the microchip topic.
Finally, it's also a reminder of the wonderful work that local organizations can facilitate. Hundreds of individual volunteers came together for rescue, care and reunion, but it's SPCA Monterey County who made it all work. Unlike SPCA "chapters," SPCA Monterey County is a completely independent organization with everything made possible by their donors.
During this crisis, they're also providing evacuated pet owners with the pet food they need. Often during local emergencies, such as wildfires, we will facilitate pooling resources with our clients, and work with our vendors to stretch those resources, to achieve a similar result. In this case it felt like duplicate effort. Instead, for anyone so inclined, we would suggest supporting SPCA Monterey County efforts directly, and perhaps specify "for Pajaro" in the comments field.
But whatever you do, please take a moment to appreciate your furry family members and include them in your preparedness efforts. When it comes to emergency preparedness, please let us know if we can help.