Instructions for Avian & Exotic Pet Supply Kit for Disaster Responders:

Dishes:  Place non-spill dishes on cage floor for small exotics, or attach locking crock dishes to wire cage bars for larger pets. Dog or cat dishes can be used, but make sure the animal is able to reach inside the bowl. Use rocks to build ramps inside and outside of bowls for reptiles and amphibians.

Food: See instruction sheets for each type of animal to determine the appropriate diet or alternative foods. Store at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen (except cans); avoid hot temperatures or repeated freezing/thawing. Once a can is opened, use the empty plastic food containers from the kit to keep the leftovers fresh in a refrigerator or cooler. Check expiration dates twice yearly!

Heat Lamp & Bulb: Use to provide extra heat for reptiles, amphibians, or sick birds. It can be used for up to four pets at once by placing all of their containers/cages so that one corner of each is touching in the center where the light can be attached. It can be left on all night. See the care sheet for each species to determine the temperatures they need.
Net: Use to capture and move fish, reptiles, amphibians, small birds, scorpions, etc. Be very gentle, and have the new housing next to you to minimize handling time.

Quick Links: Use to secure cage doors against escape by birds or mammals that could chew Zip Ties.
Thermometers: Place one with each exotic pet or each group, and check care sheets for recommended temperatures for each species.

Totes: Five different sizes can be used to house animals that can’t stay in their original housing and can’t live in a dog or cat crate. Use for fish (move fish along with some of the water from their tank), reptiles that were in aquariums too large to move, or small rodents that could fit through the bars of larger crates. Cut holes in the lids and secure the lids in place with bungie cords or duct tape around the outside. The two shallower totes can provide a soaking tub for large reptiles that need to immerse themselves frequently. Build a ramp with clean rocks to allow them to get in and out easily.

Screen Wire: For better ventilation for animals in totes, cut wire to overlap the sides of the tote, and secure with duct tape. Use to cover the door of a plastic carrier to use as a small bird cage.

Towels: Use to capture and restrain birds, mammals, or large reptiles, or use as bedding.

Water: Use only bottled water for reptiles and amphibians for both drinking and spraying. When possible, provide both a water bottle and a water bowl for all exotic mammals and reptiles/amphibians to insure they drink. Check water bottles for leaking, clogging, or chewing at least twice daily. Place a piece of metal between cage and bottle if needed to prevent chewing of plastic bottles.  

Zip Ties: Use to secure cages before moving as small cages may easily fall apart during transport.

Questions? Contact Dr. Julie Burge at or 816-356-4700 or see