Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Emergency Management: Pets

  • Ashley K. FarmerEmail author
  • Sarah E. DeYoung
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_108-2


The issue of emergency management and pets includes policies and research on how ownership of companion animals influences decisions in the context of disasters, including sheltering, evacuation, and re-entry considerations.


Pet ownership affects the ways people react to and respond to disasters. These reactions include refusals to evacuate, early re-entry into closed areas to check on or retrieve pets, and psychological factors such as stress or trauma from the loss of a pet. Approximately 68% of Americans are pet owners (American Pet Products Association 2018), and therefore, the ways that pet ownership impacts evacuation and sheltering decisions during disasters remains a growing concern for emergency managers. Factors that influence the response of pet owners to disasters include attachment and commitment levels to pets, lack of proper evacuation plans, lack of available resources for transport and housing, and risk perception (Heath et al. 2001; Heath and...


Pets and disasters Companion animals Evacuation Sheltering 
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Further Readings

  1. Edmonds, A. S., & Cutter, S. L. (2008). Planning for pet evacuations during disasters. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 5(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Potts, A., & Gadenne, D. (2014). Animals in emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch earthquakes. Christchurch: University of Canterbury.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA