Any example I can make to drive home my point is the same for pet or livestock. A beloved dog, that calms your nerves when you are anxious and alerts you to danger will wander off looking for food, water and better shelter if you do not provide it. Livestock, if well penned, will stand there and die if you do not feed and water it. So, point made, you may own the animal, but truly you own the responsibility of the animal first.
If you are not willing or able to provide for a pet or livestock during an emergency, you don't need them and you should let them go now. That may be a cruel, heartless sounding statement, but I do not lie.
I have no pet, because I have not enough time to stroke the animal, tell it it is pretty, or desire to keep it entertained while I am gone. It would be cruel to own a dog and leave it in a house in the quiet with the air conditioner turned off while I go clean a couple of houses. I do not run the AC when I am not home. I do not run the television when I am not home. When I come home, as much as I have enjoyed pet ownership in the past when my sons were in and out of the house, I really don't care if a wagging tale tells me, I am home on time for a change. That would be a sad life for any cat or dog. I won't do it.
I have had a dog of my own, in the past. I loved that dog. I ran the AC for him, kept the television on his favorite channel, there was no scolding when accidents happened. But, when my schedule became too much about me, not about the dog, and when he acted like I was a stranger in my own home, he went to live with a nice dog rescue lady whose husband took him into his heart and the two were buddies for life.
Before Max went to live with his new best friend, we had a hurricane come close to us. I had to scramble to find if any shelters allowed animals. Guess what? Nope! not in my area or path of escape. For pets, you must plan ahead, not all shelters allow pets and those that do, require caging or restraint. I would have gone to a family home and Max would have been a rude house guest.
I have been here long enough to see animals roaming loose after storms and it is not only sad but dangerous. Maybe, you saw some of the pictures from the aftermath of Katrina? A domesticated animal gone feral is more dangerous, in my opinion, than an animal born to the wild.
One of my sons has a well loved chihuahua mix. I believe he has enough food stored to keep that dog fat for two years. Another son has a beloved dog, and chickens. They do not live on bugs and they are not free range, so, they are provided for accordingly.
I have teased my son about his little chicken ranch, because it was funny, but on a serious note, he only keeps what he can keep or keep and eat. More than that would be cruel to the chickens.
We see it in the news all too often. In the rural areas of Central Florida, animal cruelty is on the news too often. Whether it is the economy causing owners to withhold food or medicine or actual cruelty, the animals are suffering now, and the crunch is not yet upon us. There will be no pictures of animal cruelty here. Just words to the wise.
Love your pets like your children? Prep for them. Need your animals for food or protection? Prep for them. They cannot prepare for themselves.