As Tropical Storm Cindy approaches the Southeastern United States and hovers off the coast of Louisiana and Texas, PETA is offering important advice to help ensure the safety of companion animals for now and the rest of the hurricane season.

As Tropical Storm Cindy approaches the Southeastern United States and hovers off the coast of Louisiana and Texas, PETA is offering important advice to help ensure the safety of companion animals for now and the rest of the hurricane season.

 • Take animals indoors. Never leave them chained or penned up outside. If you seek safety within your residence, include any rabbits, dogs, cats, or other animals who can be taken indoors.

• If you need to move to a stronger structure, know your destination ahead of time. Do not plan to leave animals unsupervised in a car—they can suffer from heatstroke once the ambient temperature rises above 70 degrees, even if water is available and the windows are slightly open, or the car may be overturned or crushed during a significant storm.

• Although emergency shelters sometimes turn away animals, motels in the area are likely to accept dogs, cats, and other small animals in an emergency. Move small animals in secure carriers, and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, a favorite toy, a blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least a week.

• Have your animals microchipped, and put secure, legible ID tags on them.

• Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who may have been left behind by neighbors. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal's location and call authorities for help immediately.