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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pet friendly shelter information and more

September 22, 2022
By Boca Beacon Reader

To the Editor: 

Don’t leave your pets, and don’t use your pet as an excuse not to evacuate. Don’t put yourself, your family and your pet at risk! You are responsible for planning for your pet.

Take your pet disaster supplies if you evacuate, go to friends/relatives, a public shelter (Charlotte County public shelters are pet-friendly) or a hotel. Find pet-friendly hotels at

After the storm has passed, be careful with your pet outdoors. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and confuse your pet. Other dangers may be present, such as downed power lines, other animals and insects brought in with high water, and contaminated food or water. Nearly 80 percent of pets displaced by a storm are never reunited with their owners.

Pet Disaster Supply Checklist:

• Proper ID collar and rabies tag/license;

• Vaccination papers (pet-friendly shelters/ evacuation centers and boarding facilities may require proof of vaccinations within the past 12 months);

• Carrier or cage large enough for your pet to move around in;

• Leash;

• Ample food supply (at least two weeks) and nonelectric can opener if needed;

• Water (minimum of seven-day supply);

• Water/food bowls;

• Any necessary medications;

• Specific care instructions

• Newspapers, cat litter, scoop, plastic trash bags for handling waste;

• Proper ID on all belongings (including emergency contact information if you evacuate);

• Photo of you with your pet; and

• A comfort item (favorite toy or blanket).

• Microchipping your pet prior to a pending storm is strongly encouraged

There are five evacuation zones in our area. Find your home on the map … and make sure you know your zone.

A – Red

B – Orange

C – Yellow

D – Green

E – Purple

Charlotte County shelters:

Liberty Elementary School ​

370 Atwater St. Port Charlotte, FL 33954

Capacity: 500​

Neil Armstrong Elementary School ​

22100 Breezeswept Ave. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Capacity: 500​

Kingsway Elementary School

23300 Quasar Blvd. Port Charlotte, FL 33980

Capacity: 500​

Harold Avenue Regional Park Recreation Center

23400 Harold Ave. Port Charlotte, FL 33980

Capacity: 500​

Warning: Charlotte County has no certified Red Cross shelters. In the event of a hurricane, Charlotte County-staffed shelters may be opened for citizens to take shelter. All are pet-friendly. 

Charlotte County shelters of last resort may not be able to open, depending on the size and direction of an approaching storm. Check local media and this website to ascertain which location may be open.

Shelter space is extremely limited, and all other means of evacuation and sheltering should be considered before going to a public shelter.

In the event of a hurricane, one or more Charlotte County-staffed shelters may be opened, depending on the size and direction of an approaching storm. Check local media and our website below to find open locations.

Shelters will have an increased amount of space per individual/family for social distancing purposes, routine sanitizing of common areas, and they will make available hand-washing materials and hand sanitizer if possible. It is best to bring sanitizing supplies if you have them.

Bring your own cloth face coverings for everyone in your family, as well as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes/cleaner.

Families will be allowed to share the space assigned to them, with appropriate distance requirements between families.

Public shelters do not have cots, bedding or generators, and you will have limited space.

For more information, go to

Charlotte County Emergency Management

Punta Gorda