September 28, 2005 in Choo-Choo

Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act)

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After Katrina hit earlier this month, I made a donation to the Humane Society of the United States. Since then, they have sent a couple emails regarding their efforts to rescue and care for animals left behind. Thought I would forward this one as they are asking all animals lovers to support a bill recently introduced to help ensure that in the event of another natural disaster, the government has an evacuation plan that is pet friendly.

Dear Ursula,
Over the past three days alone, our Disaster Animal Response Teams in Louisiana have rescued more than 700 animals — bringing the total number of animals we’ve helped save across the region to more than 7,000. While our work in the areas hit by Katrina and Rita will continue for months, perhaps years, our disaster teams’ efforts have been truly remarkable — and made entirely possible by your generous support.
But even as you read this, we know that pets — animals who, for some reason, haven’t yet made any rescue lists — remain trapped in their homes or out on the streets. Many remain stranded or homeless for one tragic reason: Their caregivers, when forced to evacuate, were not allowed to take their pets with them. Government officials and human relief agencies did not have an emergency plan in place to accommodate people and their pets.
With your help, we can change this for future disasters: Take action NOW and ask your U.S. Representative to support the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) to ensure relief agencies plan for pets and that a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.
Last Thursday, Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Barney Frank (D-MA), Don Young (R-AK), and James Oberstar (D-MN) introduced the PETS Act to ensure that in future disasters, people will not be forced to leave behind their household pets and service animals such as seeing-eye dogs, as they were in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The PETS Act requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include pets and service animals in their disaster evacuation plans. Local and state authorities must submit these plans to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With your help, we have a chance to pass this bill and save pets during future disasters:
1. Take Action and urge your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3858, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, and do everything possible to get it passed SOON. It will only take a minute using our easy online tools.
2. Spread the Word. Urge your friends and family to contact their representatives about this bill. We cannot win unless we have a large, loud majority urging our legislators to protect pets during future disasters. Click here to spread the word.
When a disaster strikes in the future, The Humane Society of the United States wants to work hand-in-hand with government responders. Animal rescue is an enormous task, and we can’t do it alone.
As The HSUS and other animal groups continue to search for, rescue, and shelter animals in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, it’s heartening to know that you’re standing with us. Please continue your support of the animals by contacting your representative today and urging him/her to co-sponsor and unequivocally support the PETS Act so it can be adopted before Congress adjourns for the year. This law will save the lives of both pets and the people who love them.
Thank you for your swift action and for all you do on behalf of animals and our disaster teams.
Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

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