Friday, March 17, 2006

Pets are People, too

At least I think they are and so, if I were faced with leaving my home to escape an impending Cat5 hurricane or stay to keep my animals safe, I could honestly and sincerely tell you that it's either me and my animals or none of us. How could I leave them knowing their lives were as much at risk as my own and that their basic survival also depends on me?

That said, I will also acknowledge that I have a car with ample room to transport my three dogs and cats to safety and I have places further north to go if it were ever a real emergency.

Which is why I think PETS (The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2005) is an outstanding piece of legislation as it ensures organizations like FEMA will do what they can to get people and their animals out of harms way.

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. Local and state authorities must submit these plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In addition to the trauma experienced by evacuees who are forced to abandon their animal companions and the subsequent suffering the animals endure, there are serious health and safety risks to disaster areas that are exacerbated by the abandoning of pets. Many of these problems can be mitigated or eliminated simply through the proper planning.
So click the link to find your Senator and House Representative and let them know that you, too, support this compassionate measure because pets are important people.

(more animals saved after Katrina pictures here and here.)

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