The Humane Society of South Mississippi, together with local law enforcement, emergency operations leaders and the Coast Transit Authority (CTA) has established a pet-friendly hurricane shelter for Harrison County at Harrison Central High School.
FIRST, review HSSM’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips and develop a Disaster Plan.
If you decide your Disaster Plan includes evacuating to a pet-friendly shelter, please continue reading this information and tips regarding Harrison County’s pet-friendly shelter.
Do I Need to Pre-Register?
If you will need assistance getting to the pet-friendly shelter, you are REQUIRED to pre-register with Coast Transit Authority click here or call them at 228-896-8080.
If you will be getting yourself and your pets to the shelter, you do NOT need to pre-register.
Where is Harrison County’s Pet-Friendly Hurricane Shelter?
Harrison County only has one pet-friendly hurricane shelter, which will be at Harrison Central High School, 15600 School Road, Gulfport, MS.
How Do I Find Out WHEN I Can Come to the Pet-Friendly Hurricane Shelter?
Watch your local media outlets closely. The pet-friendly hurricane shelter will follow all protocols and instructions given for all County hurricane shelters. However, it will open a minimum of 12 hours prior to landfall of an impending storm.
Can I Drop Off My Pets at HSSM for Shelter During A Storm?
No. HSSM does not have the capacity to house animals during a hurricane. In fact, depending on the severity of the storm, HSSM may evacuate all pets currently at the shelter. Many of these pets will remain at partner shelters for adoption.
For this reason, if you have recently lost a pet when a hurricane watch is issued, it is of utmost importance that you verify your pet is not at HSSM.
If you intend to utilize the pet-friendly hurricane shelter, you must stay at the shelter as well.
What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring any and all supplies you will need for yourself and your family members, as well as the following items (each with YOUR name on them):
- Picture ID (Needed for shelter check-in)
- Crate or Kennel for Each Individual Animal (One can be provided if you do not have one)
- Collar/Harness and Leash for Each Individual Dog
- Water & food bowls for each pet
- Pet Food (at least a 3-day supply)
- Blankets/Toys/Treats or any other “comfort” items
- Current photo of you and your pet(s) together (for reclamation purposes)
- Vaccination Records INCLUDING proof of Rabies vaccination within past 12 months (the tag is NOT enough)
Will I be able to take my pet into the “Human” Section of the Pet-Friendly Hurricane Shelter?
No. Your pet will be housed in a separate section of the Harrison Central High School Hurricane Shelter. However, it is your responsibility to keep any necessary medications your pet(s) may need and to give them accordingly.
Upon check-in at the shelter, your pet will be issued his/her own, unique identification number and both you and your pet will be given matching bands to ensure that your pet is returned to you. We will also take a picture of you and your pet together. The person pictured with your pet will be the only person that we are able to discharge your animal to.
When the weather is not considered a danger, you WILL be permitted to visit with your pet(s). This decision will be made by the Incident Commander in charge of the Hurricane Shelter. During these times, care of your pets will fall to you, including: feeding, watering, walking, etc.
If you have further questions about the Harrison County Pet Friendly Hurricane Shelter, please contact our local chapter of the American Red Cross at 228-896-4511.