Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health and Society


Climate change and extremes in weather can amplify the risk of some natural disasters. Emergency management authorities also face a contemporary challenge of a societal shift toward companion animals (pets) being considered as family members. From a public health perspective, pets are widely regarded as facilitators of social interactions and a sense of community, having a ripple effect which extends beyond their human family to the broader community. Against this backdrop, people may make evacuation decisions based on their pet’s welfare, increasing disaster risk. Pet loss in disasters has detrimental effects on individual and community health post-disaster. My dissertation provides an empirical examination of the relationship between emergency services and pet owners in natural disasters, and the implications for the field of health promotion. I explore the values of responsibility and solidarity that can underpin tensions between pet owners and emergency services.

FoR codes (2008)

1117 PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES, 111712 Health Promotion



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.