Greg James writes in to let us know that the US Government has passed a bill to protect pets in emergencies.
Greg lets us know that the ASPCA supports this:
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it has become overwhelmingly apparent that provisions need to be made for our trusted companions in major disaster and emergency situations. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) would amend a federal law called the Stafford Act. It would require the director of FEMA, in approving standards for state and local disaster preparedness plans, to ensure that the plans take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals. The bill would also allow the director of FEMA to make financial contributions to state and local authorities for animal emergency preparedness purposes, including establishing shelters to accommodate people with pets and service animals.
Many Katrina evacuees and disaster victims were forced to leave their pets behind when they evacuated their homes, because no provisions had been made to evacuate companion animals along with their families. The emotional trauma of those forced to leave their pets behind and the suffering of tens of thousands of animals was compounded by the health and safety risks that resulted from so many abandoned animals in one area. Conversely, many pet owners, knowing their companion animals could not accompany them, chose to stay in their homes with their pets, further complicating human rescue efforts. The PETS bill would help ensure that this situation does not repeat itself if another major disaster strikes!