Press Release

Press Release

House Passes Lantos Legislation to Protect Pet Owners in Emergencies

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to help safeguard people with household pets and service animals in case of emergency.

The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Act (H.R. 3858), authored by Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA), passed by a vote of 349 to 24. Under the PETS Act, in order to qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, a city or state will be required to submit a plan detailing its disaster preparedness program that will include how authorities will accommodate households with pets or service animals.

“The devastation last year in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama brought unbelievable images into every American home night after night,” Lantos said. “The loss of life and property was staggering. But on top of all that, the sight of evacuees choosing between being rescued or remaining with their pets, perhaps even having to leave behind the service animals they rely on every day, was just heartbreaking. The work of my colleagues in Congress, along with the Herculean effort of various animal welfare organizations, will ensure not the only safety of household pets and service animals, but also of their owners in moments of potential fatal danger.”

The legislation is supported by the Humane Society of the United States, the Doris Day Animal League, the Best Friends Animal Society, and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). A Senate version of the bill, introduced last month, is now before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

CAN-DO proposal on animal trasport will be posted soon.

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