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Emergency Preparedness for Pets - In 5 Steps Make Your Pet a Photo ID Card

By Edited Jun 12, 2015 4 9

Help Your Pets and Emergency Responders

Share My Pet Photo ID Template and Make Your Own Pet ID Cards

Emergency Photo ID for Pets Make Your Own Pet ID Card

With a thought in mind to wards emergency preparedness for pets, I’d like to share a template I created for a Pet ID card, demonstrate the 5 easy steps to make this card and advise why I made these identification cards for my pets.

I have two beloved pets. Marley is a blind female collie-mix and Mason is a male orange tabby.  I created this pet ID card to have a current identification card for my pets and to have an up-to-date photo ID to facilitate and enable their recovery and rescue if either my cat or dog becomes lost, stolen or displaced in a natural disaster or during the chaos any kind of evacuation or emergency.

This card will serve its greatest function and purpose if I am unable to personally get my pets to a safe haven in any emergency.

Help Emergency Responders Detect Your Pets and Each Pet in Your Home

The most crucial purpose for creating and using these ID cards is to help Fire and Safety personnel or any other emergency responders find my pets and detect both of my pets inside my house.  This is most relevant if either of them is especially frightened, hiding or hurt.

I keep my pet ID card for Marley and Mason at eye-level on an entryway mirror just inside my front door. With one glance, anyone who enters my home is instantly apprised that I have two pets. They immediately see that one is a blind dog and that my second pet is an orange-and-white tabby cat. Asidie from spotting their photos, they can also learn their names, confirm their identities and discover other vital and pertinent data about each pet in a minute or two. Contact information for me, the name of my veterinary provider, designated alternate caregivers and my pet’s rabies vaccination status are all pieces of data instantly evident and supplied. Ideally, this card will hasten and ease my pet's rescue, save time and more quickly reunite me with my pets.

All this data exists in a single place and on one document. These Pet ID cards are visual and highly visible and, most importantly, they are readily accessible.

In a widespread natural disaster or emergency, a Pet ID card like this, could help to save a pet’s life, especially if the disaster become even more dire and extreme.

Help emergency responders do their jobs faster and more effectively and make your own Pet ID card or cards.

An Immediate Plea for Help

With these ID cards, I can immediately hand to a friend or a neighbor a current photo of my pets, share my pet’s photo identification card and quickly create a printed flyer with my pet’s photo and relevant information to advise of their missing or endangered status in just a step or two. I can share all or some of my pet’s identifying or distinguishing features to start a search for their rescue in minutes.

My Dog Marley is Blind – Faster Action for Her Safety

In just a few minutes Marley, especially, could be in grave danger if she were to get outside and wander from our home or beyond my supervision. Because Marley is blind, she requires constant oversight and protection from harm.

Marley cannot see oncoming cars. She cannot view their distance from her or closeness to her. She cannot judge a car's speed. Marley would inevitably walk to edge of the driveway pavement and cross the street unaware of any lurking dangers. She cannot discern the difference between a low curb and a dangerous high ledge. I know this from experience. I have watched her take a bad fall when I could not stop her progress or capture her attention in time to stop her from falling. She stumbles over curbs unless I call out 'up' or 'down' to alert her to obstacles like these. These are instances of the minor and generally harmless obstacles she faces daily.

My purpose in creating this card is to primarily advise others of her disability. I know that this card will not show others how to warn her of any impending dangers, but it will give those looking for her a better chance to find her, and the card could help searchers find her more quickly. Most people, when they meet Marley, don’t initially realize that she is a blind dog until she bumps into their knees or legs in response to their greeting to her. Marley's great disability is also her most distinguishing feature or mark.

How to  Make Your Own My Pet ID Cards

Use Word or PowerPoint to create this simple but very important document. Create a table with three columns for two pets as I did or just two columns for one pet. If you have more pets and you’d like to create a single card for all of your pets, you can add extra columns.  Add at least three rows for significant and relevant data about your pet or pets.

Update this document as needed with new photos, new contact info for yourself and your alternate or emergency contacts. Don’t forget to edit with any new address information if you move, obtain a new cell phone number or change veterinary providers. If you select a new pet sitter, remember to edit this document with their new details as well.  Keep vaccination dates handy and available for quick reference by adding these key facts onto your document, too.  If you have several columns for multiple pets you can change your page orientation to the landscape format.

In the first column, enter the text IN AN EMERGENCY PLEASE EVACUATE! You can change the text direction to vertical, as I did, on my sample form above.

5 Easy Steps to Make Your Own Photo ID card for Your Pets

Step 1

Update your pet’s vaccinations and rabies shots if this is necessary.

Step 2

Take a current snapshot of your pet or pets to insert it into the Pet ID card you are making.

Step 3

Gather any existing veterinary records you keep for your animals. Look for their vaccination history on vet receipts and their sterilization certificates to include this relevant data such as the date of their latest rabies shot. It is advisable to include their id numbers for any microchip, dog licenses or cat ID tags that your city may issue on your pet's ID card.

Step 4

Using this template or your own, enter your dog, cat or other pet’s name, their age or approximate age and any other helpful or uniquely identifying traits, information or distinguishing features that can help you prove your ownership of your pet. You may need to state these facts to an animal shelter or humane society representative after a disaster in order to retrieve your pets. 

Update this form as needed with your home address, home and cell phone numbers, the name of your current pet sitter, the name and phone number for an emergency contact should you be temporarily unreachable. Also, provide the name of your Vet and their office phone number.

As mentioned earlier, list the dates of the most recent rabies shot or vaccinations your pet has had, to avoid any unnecessary or repeat inoculations if your pet or pets need to be temporarily housed in an emergency.

Help in any way you can to increase the chances of being reunited with your pets as quickly as possible should they need to be found or identified in any situation or emergency.

Step 5

Insert the photo of your dog or cat as I have done into your own homemade ID card, print the card and post it near the front doorway of your home. You can also give a trusted neighbor or a friend and your current pet sitter duplicate copies. Attach a card to your pet’s carriers in preparation for a possible short-notice evacuation  or should your pets have to stay at a temporary emergency shelter.

Hopefully, as few people as possible, will ever experience the hardship and heartache of a natural disaster or an emergency evacuation. Being prepared, as we all know, can help.

An Easy Reference Pet ID Card for Non-Emergencies Too

For non-emergency situations, these pet ID cards are also handy reference options. Keep a copy of your pet's ID card or cards with your veterinary records and use these pet identification cards to also recall the date of your pet’s last round of vaccinations. Why not make your own Pet ID card today! You might also attach your new Pet ID card to your pet or pet's carriers, too.

For more information on household and personal survival kits, I recommend reading JadeDragon's Emergency Survival Kits on Sale for specifics on what to look for when buying any essential emergency preparedness kits.

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Comments

Oct 14, 2011 10:26pm
AEvans
Thank you! I have 3 Cocker Spaniels and did not ever think about ID cards. Great idea. :)
Oct 14, 2011 10:40pm
EGreen
I made them primarily for Marley my dog who is blind.
Oct 18, 2011 11:57pm
Deborah-Diane
I love the idea of a pet ID card for dogs. Great idea!
Oct 19, 2011 6:35pm
Introspective
What a wonderful idea for pet owners!
Oct 27, 2011 1:48am
dmcgaw
Great article! I love this idea!
Oct 27, 2011 12:42pm
KrisSigeti
Great idea! Beats just having a collar and name tag.
Oct 27, 2011 12:45pm
EGreen
Thanks for the positive comments!
Mar 9, 2012 10:00pm
JadeDragon
Excellent =- going to link here from an article I've written on emergency kits. Great resource for pet owners.
Sep 19, 2014 4:05pm
Thomas_Atlas
This is an incredibly useful and simple tip for all pet owners. Thank you.
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