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What is the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act?

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  • What is the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act?

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many displaced families had to make the heart-breaking decision of leaving their pets behind. As most of us with pets know, that is no easy decision. This caused a number of problems from the emotional turmoil of families who did leave their pets behind, to the physical problems of having thousands of suddenly-abandoned pets, to the additional strain put on rescue efforts for those people who elected to stay home with their pets rather than leave them behind.

    In response to this, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act was passed in October 2006. The PETS Act is technically an amendment to the Stafford Act, and provides the following:
    • Requires state and local emergency preparedness operational plans take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals before, during and after a disaster
    • Grants the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the authority to approve the standards of these plans and assist state and local communities in developing plans
    • Indicates that the FEMA Director may make financial contributions on the basis of programs and projects approved by the Director, to the state and local authorities for animal emergency preparedness purposes. This includes the procurement, leasing, construction or renovation of emergency shelter facilities and materials that will accommodate people with pets and service animals.
    • Allows FEMA the authority to provide essential assistance to individuals with pets and service animals for the provision of care, rescue, sheltering and essential needs to such pets and animals
    Ultimately, the goal of the PETS Act is to prevent another 'Snowball' incident from occurring. It authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals, and to the household pets and animals themselves following a major disaster or emergency.

  • #2
    I hate to disagree and I am not a pet hater, but "life and limb" are the major tenets of disaster response and recovery, if that happens. Until every human has been dealt with - spending time, money, effort, risking rescuer lives and such for pets is a bit over the top. We need to get our priorities in order. Many people who shelter with the provided places are allergic, don't like the idea of sleeping with flea and tick infested pets or whether these pets have even been vaccinated, and that is before you get to the "mean breeds" being in the same shelter with strangers and children who may not be the best behaved. FEMA does not provide, nor did my county during our recent ice storm - pet food and dog walking so they could do their business, as many pet owners demanded of the nursing staff and the shelter volunteers.

    One lady, who admitted she was now warm and well fed, let us know that unless her dog would be better cared for the next time, she would not be joining us for the next weather emergency. Wow!!!

    FEMA can't seem to get their stuff together doing what they are charged with doing, adding this is not a good way to address this issue.
    fcphdJim likes this.