Man patting horse, puppy being held in a person's hands


Get ready: preparing our pets for emergencies

Published: 13 Aug 2021 11:48am

Wagga Wagga City Council is encouraging all pet owners to make a plan in order to keep their companions safe in the event of an emergency.

We often have a plan for our families and property, but what about our pets? If you need to suddenly leave your house – your pets need to come with you. Will you have everything they need?

Animal Welfare Supervisor Julie McPhail experienced first hand the distress caused by emergencies during the 2019 bushfires when, through her role at Council’s Glenfield Road Animal Shelter, she was instrumental in helping many residents stay connected with their pets.

“During the fires, we worked with 15 families that were affected and answered numerous phone calls from people who had lost their pets or needed direction on what to do with their pets,” Ms McPhail said.

“That time was a real eye opener and one I hope our community never has to go through again.

“At the shelter, we saw how important the human/animal bond was, so we allowed the owners to come in, visit and spend time with their fur kids. You could really see the owners’ stress and anxiety disappear when they were together.

“In the height of an emergency, stress and anxiety will most likely take over. By planning ahead, and having everything you need ready to go, you’ll set both yourself and your pets up for a less stressful experience.”

For instructions on how to plan for animals, including packing your pet’s Grab and Go Bag, visit