Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act makes pets part of emergency planning
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SACRAMENTO, CA (October 6, 2006) – United Animal Nations, the organization that pioneered disaster relief for animals nearly 20 years ago, today commended President George Bush for signing a measure that will save both human and animal lives when disaster strikes. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act requires state and local agencies to include provisions for people with pets or service animals to safely evacuate with their animals in the event of a disaster.
“We applaud President Bush for signing this sweeping bill that enables agencies throughout the country to better care for animals during emergencies,” said UAN President and CEO
Recent surveys show that as many as two-thirds of Americans would refuse to evacuate if they had nowhere to bring their pets. Because Red Cross shelters do not allow animals, many pet owners have limited options when disasters force them from their homes. People who leave pets behind often try to rescue them later, further jeopardizing their safety and hampering relief efforts.
“Given the bond between people and their pets, a disaster plan that doesn’t include animals in simply incomplete,” Forsyth said. “With the PETS Act now signed into law, there is hope that people will never be forced to make the difficult and heartbreaking decision to leave their pets behind to save their own lives.”
The PETS Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Chris Shays (R-Conn.), and in the U.S. Senate by Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). It was approved unanimously by the Senate on August 4 and by the House of Representatives on September 20.
About the PETS Act:
- Requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities that receive FEMA funding to include provisions for pets and service animals in their disaster plans
- Grants FEMA the authority to assist states and local communities in developing such plans
- Authorizes federal funds to help create pet-friendly emergency shelters
- Allows FEMA to provide assistance for individuals with pets and service animals, and the animals themselves, following a major disaster.
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free emergency sheltering and disaster relief services for animals in communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises, as well as free disaster planning assistance. Since 1987, UAN has responded to 70 disasters, saving thousands of animal lives. UAN spent more than two months in the Gulf Region after Hurricane Katrina, deploying more than 400 volunteers to help 2,100 animals at six shelters in three states. With more than 2,600 trained EARS volunteers in the
Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is