​Pets and Livestock

Remember, the welfare of your pets and livestock is your responsibility

Planning now will lessen the stress during an emergency on both you and your animals.

In some types of emergency you may need to make arrangements to ensure the welfare of your pets or livestock.

For detailed information, go to the Emergency Management section of the Department of Primary Industries website or see RSPCA NSW's Disaster and Alerts page.

Take some time now to think about how you will care for your animals in the event of an emergency.



  • Have a secure carry box/cage and leads on hand at all times. Carry boxes and bird cages should be large enough to allow your pet to be comfortable for a couple of days. The box/cage should have your name and contact details marked on it.
  • Your dogs and cats must be micro-chipped. Ensure that your pet's collar also carries your contact details.
  • Keep a few days' supply of your pets' food and medications etc in stock.


If you are directed to evacuate by NSW Police take your pet with you. Do not leave animals unattended or in a motor vehicle during an emergency.

Discuss arrangements with your neighbours and have an agreement about the management of pets should an emergency occur. Make a plan for where you will house your pets should you have to leave your home.

If you are unable to evacuate your animals you should notify the Department of Primary Industries with the following details:

  • The location of your animals
  • The type and number of animals
  • The handling facilities on site - yards, loading ramps etc.
  • Availability of fodder
  • Problem animals including unbroken horses or savage dogs
  • Any veterinary medication or health problems
  • An immediate or short-term contact person
  • Whether, after the immediate evacuation period, you can organise alternate accommodation for your animals



Before bushfires: prepare and maintain fuel reduced areas onto which stock can be moved and held.

Before floods: ensure that there is high ground nearby and organise feed supplies for the duration of the flood.

Feed: have emergency supplies of fodder as part of risk management preparedness.

Handling difficult animals

Cats: a difficult cat can be handled by holding the scruff of its neck and placing in a carry box.

Dogs: use a muzzle as a restraint. If a muzzle is not available tear up a sheet and place around the muzzle of the dog, crossing under the neck and around the back of its ears and secure. Use only as a short term measure.

Horses: place a blindfold (eg a towel) across the head and lead from the left side with your hand and elbow close to the horse.