By Shiela Boynton
Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends

Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends was honored recently with a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The funds will help ARF develop a disaster preparedness plan for resident pets.

Money received will also help defray the costs to train a certified PetTech instructor in CPR and first aid. After the 3-day course in early December, this fully-certified instructor will begin holding classes for groups, agencies and individual pet owners, enabling them to perform CPR and first aid on their own cats and dogs in an emergency.

As part of the plan, ARF has designated two first aid station locations: Sadie’s Clinic at ARF House on Highway 243, and Mountain Pawlytechnic Canine Education School, 23400 Highway 243 in Pine Cove. In the event of a disaster on the Hill, trained ARF volunteers will be assigned to these first aid stations.

The disaster plan will include information on many other issues important to those with pets in case of an natural emergency. ARF will be working with Idyllwild Pharmacy to help residents build animal first aid kits.

A list of hotels and motels in Hemet, Banning and Beaumont allowing pets to stay with their evacuated owners will be available.

A “GOT CHIP!?” campaign will urge all residents to microchip their dogs so they can be reunited with their humans. MDP and MCFSC will be helping with the community-wide dissemination of this information.

Sadie’s Clinic is sponsoring a speakers’ series to educate and alert residents on disaster preparedness and other animal welfare issues.

ARF’s email newsletter will include details of the plan over the next few months. To receive a newsletter, please contact janic[email protected]. Also, keep checking the website at www.arfidyllwild.weebly.com for information.

ARF wants the community to understand that it cannot be responsible for the care of your cats and dogs in an emergency. Assistance will be provided as described above, but the organization does not have the resources or facilities to take in animals.

We urge residents to make a Grab and Go evacuation plan that includes the needs of their pets. They will not be able to “fend for themselves” if left behind; they are part of your family and depend on you for their survival.