Disaster Preparedness

The Animal Welfare Division (AWD) is dedicated to educating the citizens of Newport News on how to protect their pets in the event of a disaster. Information and educational brochures are distributed during regular contacts with pet owners in the field, during special events, and through public services announcements. The AWD staff frequently meets with emergency planners, animal control agencies, animal shelters, and national organizations to develop emergency plans.

Planning For Disasters


The best way to protect your family and pets from the effects of a disaster is to have a plan. Please plan to evacuate your pets. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, may result in injury or loss.

Plan Ahead To Take Your Pets


Make arrangements with family or friends outside your immediate area to temporarily shelter your pets. Have a list of pet-friendly hotels and boarding facilities along your evacuation route.  Visit the Pets Welcome website for a list of pet-friendly hotels.

Plan Ahead To Bring What You Need


Bring a leash or carrier, food and water for three days, and any necessary medications. Also bring your pet's photo and rabies vaccination certificate.

Have A Backup Plan If You Are Out Of Town Or Working


Develop a buddy system with neighbors or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

Identify Your Pets


Make sure your pets are wearing up-to-date licenses and identification at all times. It's a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area in case you can't be reached directly. Microchipping is also recommended.