Pet Evacuation Bill on the President’s Desk

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Hey, how’s this for a change? It’s some good news out of Washington! This might be the first time that has happened since…er…well…EVER!

Lisa Foronda’s wonderful Animal Attraction blog is reporting that a bill has passed both houses and is set to be signed by the President that would protect pets during evacuations like we witnessed during Hurricane Katrina and experienced during Hurricane Rita.

The US Humane Society reports the details of the bill:

“The House PETS legislation, which originally passed overwhelmingly by 349-24 in May, was introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) just weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and was followed by a Senate version that was introduced by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and passed unanimously in August. The final bill that will be sent to the President contains provisions to help with disaster planning, including:

– requiring that local and state emergency preparedness authorities include plans for pets and service animals in disaster plans to qualify for grants from FEMA

– granting FEMA the authority to assist states and local communities in developing disaster plans to accommodate people with pets and service animals

– authorizing federal funds to help create pet-friendly emergency shelter facilities

– allowing FEMA to provide assistance for individuals with pets and service animals, and the animals themselves following a major disaster

Wow. Actual progress. Is this the backwards bizarro world?

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