By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The head of Los Angeles County’s Animal Care and Control Department is urging pet owners to prepare an evacuation kit for their animals in case of an emergency.

Director Marcia Mayeda noted that a recent series of massive brush fires in the state “underscores the importance of having an emergency plan that includes your pets.”

“Because many people must evacuate at a moment’s notice, this plan should be completed and ready to implement immediately,” she wrote.

Evacuation kits for dogs, cats and small companion animals should include:

  • Five days of pet food;
  • Collapsible food and water containers;
  • Extra leashes and harnesses;
  • Toys, blankets, treats and other items to comfort your pet in a strange environment;
  • A collapsible crate to safely confine your pet;
  • Clear photographs of your pet, including full-body pictures from both sides and a close-up of their face;
  • Copies of vaccination and pet licensing records;
  • Microchip information, including the pet’s microchip ID number and the issuing company;
  • A list of all medications taken by your pet, with a week’s supply in the kit and a note of the diagnosis or reason the pet takes the; medication in case someone else has to provide care for the pet;
  • Flea and tick medication.

Owners of horses and livestock are urged to take a series of measures, including:

  • Have a list of all medications, special feed, medical issues or other needs your animals may have;
  • Include copies of vaccinations, particularly for strangles, equine infectious anemia and West Nile virus for horses;
  • Have clear photos of animals — both full-body photos from both sides along with any brands, ear tags, ear notches or other identifying information;
  • Bring fly masks, fly sheets, halters, lead ropes and other items for your animals’ comfort;
  • Ensure your horses or other livestock will quickly and obediently load;
  • Make sure your trailer is safe and functional and perform a complete safety check on the vehicle;
  • Microchip livestock and keep the microchip records up to date, with copies in the evacuation kit;
  • Write phone number on the horses’ hooves or attach an equine- specific safety band with identifying information.

With hundreds of wildfires raging across California, protecting pets from smoke inhalation is on many peoples’ minds.

One company has designed a four-layered air filtered mask that is specially designed to fit the shape of a dog’s muzzle.

The K9 mask is made by Texas-based company Good Air Team and comes in various sizes and colors for different dog breeds.

The masks are available at K9Mask.com or on Amazon.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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