Fire preparedness is important for EVERYONE, but have you thought about a special plan for your exotic pets? We had a conversation with Nina Powell, Deputy Fire Marshall for the Pike Township Fire Department, and asked her advice. Specifically, we asked:
- Are those little window stickers that alert fire fighters to the presence of pets REALLY helpful? Will fire fighters look at them and try to find the pets?
- What if the pet is something unfamiliar and a little unusual, for example, a SNAKE? Will fire fighters rescue pets like that?
Nina assured us that the stickers are useful, and as long as the humans residents are safe, and fire fighters aren’t putting themselves and others in danger, they will make an effort to get pets safely out. She recommends using large stickers, and placing them prominently on both the front and rear doors right where they will be clearly visible. She laughed at our question about rescuing snakes-but quickly replied that all pets are important and special.
However, there are some things exotic pet owners can do that will really help fire fighters in these situations. We think her advice is excellent:
- Have carriers for each pet ready and easily visible, for example tucked under the cage or right next to it.
- Place a laminated instruction sheet on each carrier identifying and describing the pet, and any tips someone unfamiliar with that species would find useful. We made a couple of examples here:
So where do you get window/door stickers specifically for exotic pets? You can have them custom printed, or we’ve made a large stack of them; pick yours up any time during clinic hours.
Stickers are $2.00 and proceeds go towards the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund: https://www.vccfund.org/forms/donation-form/?ref=661&company=Avian%20and%20Exotic%20Animal%20Clinic
Nina also reminds us to check smoke detectors regularly and have an escape plan that all families know and have practiced! See this fun link where kids can help in the planning process: https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week/fpw17/fpw17escapeplangrid.pdf