The Legal Animal News Page: U.S. House passes pet evacuation act

Best Friends has started an animal legal news website and is calling for members. It is excellent beyond expectations. Here is what they6 have to say about it.
Welcome to The Legal Animal! The battle to improve animal welfare is moving increasingly into our courts and legislatures. The Legal Animal offers an inside look at this struggle, with up-to-date news on developments in animal law, and in-depth discussions of vital legal issues. We will also give you the tools to make the law work for animals in your area. Please join our community, explore our resources, and learn more about helping animals through law.

Go there and check it out! Here is the story I picked to bring back.

U.S. House passes Pet Evacuation Act

Landmark PETS Act would require state and local governments to take pets into account in their evacuation plans
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A television shot of a little boy losing his dog during Katrina rescue operations was the catalyst for the House to pass legislation Monday that would require pets to be considered in emergency-preparedness plans."The dog was taken away from this little boy, and to watch his face was a singularly revealing and tragic experience," said Rep. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat and sponsor of the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act. "This legislation was born at that moment."

The bill, which passed 349-24, would require state and local preparedness offices to take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation plans. Offices that fail to do so would not qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Republican Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, with Lantos a co-chairman of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, said estimates are that some 600,000 animals died or were left without shelter as a result of Hurricane Katrina. He added that the lack of pet rescue plans also put many pet owners in danger.

"When asked to choose between abandoning their pets or their personal safety, many pet owners chose to risk their lives," he said.

The Humane Society of the United States cited a recent Zogby International poll that found that 49 percent of adults say they would refuse to evacuate if they couldn't take their pets with them. Passage of the bill, said Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle, would ensure "that Americans will never again be forced to leave their best friends behind to face imminent danger."

In the Senate, Sens. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, and Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, have introduced similar legislation that also would give the FEMA director authority to grant funds to state and local agencies for animal-preparedness projects, including the building of emergency shelters.

Louisiana's Legislature is considering a separate measure requiring that the state come up with plans to transport and house pets in an evacuation. The sponsor, Sen. Heulette "Clo" Fontenot, said the bill was written on the assumption the state would need 10,000 cages for the animals.


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