As Cyclone Cook gets closer to New Zealand, pet owners are being warned to bring animals inside and be prepared to evacuate.

Cyclone Debbie broke hearts last week when some people were separated from their pets, particularly in flood-hit Edgecumbe.

With Cook predicted to be even fiercer when it makes landfall this evening, the SPCA is now warning pet owners to prepare for the worst.

Wellington SPCA chief executive Steve Glassey said any animals that can be brought inside, should be.

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Pluto was rescued from the rain this afternoon, and is now being kept inside. Photo / Twitter: @FeltonR.
Pluto was rescued from the rain this afternoon, and is now being kept inside. Photo / Twitter: @FeltonR.

Cats particularly needed to be kept indoors, as if an evacuation was ordered, it could be hard to find them at short notice.

"Get a pet carrier for each small animal, whether it's a cat or a rabbit, because when you go to the vet you typically only take one animal," Glassey said.

Sheeran isn't too stressed about the weather, but is still being kept indoors. Photo / Twitter: @JoeDerby1.
Sheeran isn't too stressed about the weather, but is still being kept indoors. Photo / Twitter: @JoeDerby1.

"But if you evacuate you'll have to take them all.

"So having a pet carrier for each animal is a really important part of evacuating small animals."

Precautions such as stocking up on extra food was a good idea.

"With power loss, animals that rely on environmentally controlled accommodation, such as tropical fish, can be in trouble," Glassey said.

Fletcher and Darcie (left to right) had their walk early today, and are now being kept inside. Photo / Twitter: @MeganCampbellNZ
Fletcher and Darcie (left to right) had their walk early today, and are now being kept inside. Photo / Twitter: @MeganCampbellNZ

"Make sure you've got means, whether it's a generator or something else, to keep them at the temperature they need to be at."

Outside of the immediate physical risks, animals could also become stressed and anxious in a storm.

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"Keeping them together as a family unit to look after one another is always a nice thing to do."

Maggie is being kept inside until it's all over. Photo / Twitter: @peachysam.
Maggie is being kept inside until it's all over. Photo / Twitter: @peachysam.

Glassey said microchipping became particularly important in severe weather, as any frightened animals that ran away could be reunited with their owners very quickly.

Anyone who finds a stray animal after the storm should take it to the local vet or SPCA, as well as putting a post on www.petsonthenet.co.nz.

Horse owners and those in rural areas, are being told to move their animals to higher ground.

If flooding occurs, move the animals out of floodwaters as soon as it's safe to do so, as contaminated water can cause bacterial infections or chemical burns.

Bailey is ready and waiting for the storm to roll in. Photo / Twitter: @yvonne_grieve.
Bailey is ready and waiting for the storm to roll in. Photo / Twitter: @yvonne_grieve.

Check any large outside animals for injuries following the storm, as fright may cause them to run or swim through fences.