Humane Society Offers Hurricane Preparedness Tips to Keep Pets Safe

  • The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB) is urging all pet parents to make the following preparations for themselves and their pets as our community prepares for the possibility of Hurricane Irma impacting our area. 
  • Never leave your pets behind during a natural disaster. HSVB urges all pet parents to begin making the appropriate arrangements. Begin securing your home if it is a safe option for housing during a storm or finalize plans for you and your pets should you need to stay elsewhere. 
  • Pet parents should create two “go” kits: one for themselves and one for their pets. A “go” kit contains essential items needed during a disaster. A pet “go” kit should include items such as pet food, water sufficient for two weeks, leashes, pet medications, toys, cat litter and any other pet-related necessities. 
  • Indian River County’s Pet-Friendly shelter is Liberty Magnet School, located at 6850 81st St, Vero Beach. This pet-friendly shelter has limited space and is a shelter of last resort for residents living in a flood zone or homes that may not be safe during a natural disaster. No registration/reservation is required however the Liberty Magnet pet-friendly shelter should only be utilized if absolutely no other sheltering option (relatives, friends, veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels or hotels) is available. Sheltering is provided on a first-come/first-serve basis and pet parents are expected to bring a comfortable crate for each animal, sufficient food, water, personal care items and supplies for themselves and their pets. To hasten admission paperwork, pet parents can download and fill out the necessary forms in advance by visiting the Indian River County Emergency Services website at or
  • The Humane Society provides pet housing for Indian River County’s First Responders and special-needs residents who are pre-registered on a space-available basis. If you are a First Responder or an individual with special needs, please register immediately with the Humane Society by calling (772) 388-3331. The shelter is located at 6230 77 Street, Vero Beach.
  • Some facilities such as kennels may turn away unvaccinated pets. Please call your veterinarian immediately to schedule any needed or lapsed vaccinations, microchips, to obtain medication refills or prescription foods. Vaccinations and microchips are also available by making an appointment with the Humane Society’s Animal Wellness Clinic at (772) 388-0801.
  • The Humane Society provides FREE pet ID tags to anyone who needs them. Tags can be picked up at the shelter, located at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Your pets do NOT need to be present for Humane Society staff to issue the tags, however, the shelter will need all current pet parent contact information.
  • Even with the best planning, pets can become lost during transport or when homes are damaged. Please keep your pets’ collars and tags on them at all times and have your pets microchipped. Make sure carriers and crates are secure and as an added precaution, take photos of your pets from the front, back, sides and above as well as with you in the photo to prove ownership and hasten recovery of your animals should they go missing. Once your pet is microchipped, register the microchip by calling the microchip manufacturer and the Humane Society at (772) 388-3331 ext. 110. Update your information with the microchip company and the shelter if you have moved or your phone number or email has changed. 
  • The Humane Society has created the free brochure “If You Go They Go!” to help pet parents prepare for a natural disaster. This brochure is available at the shelter, located at 6230 77 St., Vero Beach or online at

Humane Society Issues Updated Hurricane Pet Safety Information 

(Vero Beach, Florida) The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB) is issuing the following information for pet parents as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. 

Emergency Sheltering Information

  • EMERGENCY PET SHELTERING: Indian River County emergency sheltering for both people and pets is extremely limited and should be considered an option of last resort to be used if no other option is available. Alternative housing options include staying with family or friends or finding hotel accommodations in a safe area that’s not in a flood or evacuation zone.
  • FIRST RESPONDER’S PETS: HSVB will be accepting pets belonging to Indian River County First Responders beginning Friday, September 8 at noon through 8 p.m. that evening. Pet-friendly housing is available for first responders who are mandated to work during the hurricane and do not have any other pet housing options Animals will be accepted on a first come basis as space allows and all animals from first responders must be pre-registered by calling (772) 571-6408. The shelter is located at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach.
  • PET-FRIENDLY SHELTER: Liberty Magnet School located at 6850 81st St. in Vero Beach has been designated as Indian River County’s pet-friendly shelter. Pre-registration is NOT required however intake paperwork can be filled out in advance by visiting This emergency shelter for healthy pets and people is an option of last resort for anyone in living in a mandatory flood or evacuation zone. Indian River County’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will announce the opening of the pet-friendly and shelter. Pet parents are asked to bring all necessary supplies for themselves and their pets including food, water, medications, and pet supplies. A crate or carrier is required for each pet. The shelter has very few spare crates/carriers available in limited sizes. Pet parents who do not have crates can obtain them from the Humane Society. A donation of $10 requested. 
  • FARM ANIMALS: Please make arrangements to keep farm animals safe during the storm. This includes locating safe housing for your animals, securing barn areas and housing and placing two forms of identification on each animal. Identification can include braiding a luggage tag into a horse’s mane and spray painting your name, address and phone number using non-toxic paint on your animals should they get loose. Check the Florida Equine Evacuation Facebook page for information on alternative stabling if needed.

Humane Society Hours and Activities and Contact Information

  • HOURS: HSVB will be closed for adoptions beginning Friday, September 8 until further notice.
  • LOST AND FOUND PETS: The Humane Society’s Lost and Found and Receiving Department will remain open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday.
  • ADOPTIONS: HSVB will be closed for adoptions beginning Friday, September 8 until further notice.
  • EVENTS: All adoption and public events scheduled between September 8-15 are postponed until further notice.
  • CLINIC: HSVB’s Animal Wellness Clinic will be closing at noon on Friday, September 8.
  • COMMUNICATION: HSVB will be maintaining contact with the public via its general number (772) 388-3331, our website and social media including Facebook and Twitter for as long as possible. If phone lines are down, the shelter will be posting alternative numbers.
  • HURRICANE QUESTIONS: Any non-pet hurricane-related questions can be addressed by calling the Indian River County Emergency Operations Center Hotline at (772) 226-3900.


  • HSVB is requesting donations of basic animal care items including pet carriers and crates, blankets, sheets, towels, hand sanitizer, and pet toys. Office supplies such as copier paper, Sharpies, dry-erase boards, and pens are also helpful and appreciated. 

HSVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping and protecting the animals of Indian River County. 

Nikki Kalin
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