No Pets Left Behind
Pets and people everywhere are celebrating the news that the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act was recently signed into law. The PETS Act, which will help ensure that animals aren’t left behind in the next disaster, requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include in their evacuation plans how they will accommodate household pets and service animals in case of a disaster. In addition to the anguish of evacuees and the physical suffering of the abandoned animals, there are serious health and safety risks in disaster areas that are exacerbated by the abandoning of pets. Many of these problems can be mitigated or eliminated simply through proper planning and response. In one poll, more than 50% of pet owners queried said that they absolutely would not evacuate without their pets. Now they won’t have to.