Inclusion of animals in emergency contingency planning is not yet common practice in many countries. The purpose of this paper is to assess the need for and viability of such inclusion in Latin America.
The study surveyed 1,882 pet owners in urban areas in Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico to evaluate perceptions of pet owners with regard to their animals in emergencies.
Overall 74.5 percent (confidence interval 72.5‐76.5) said they would take their animals if evacuated. Only 16 percent (14.5‐17.8) would leave their animals behind. Regular vaccination was carried out by 70.5 percent of owners (68.0‐72.5): from 63.6 percent (60.8‐66.2 percent) in Mexico to 87.5 percent (84.3‐90.0) in Colombia. People in lower socio‐economic levels were less likely to take animals to the vet, or to vaccinate or identify them, and more likely to leave their animal behind during evacuation.
Results indicate both the need and the likely success of an animal contingency planning process in urban areas of Latin America.
This is the first survey of its kind concerning disaster preparedness for pets in developing countries, and counters the common perception that in such countries owners are less attached to their pets and that inclusion of animals in emergency contingency planning is not important.
Hesterberg, U., Huertas, G. and Appleby, M. (2012), "Perceptions of pet owners in urban Latin America on protection of their animals during disasters", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 37-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653561211202692Download as .RIS
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