|AKC Endorses Federal PETS Act
With predictions for another above-average hurricane season in 2006,
and AKC survey results showing that an overwhelming majority of pet
owners will refuse evacuation orders unless they can take their pets
with them, the AKC is pleased to endorse and support the recently introduced
S. 2548, the "Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of
2006", known as "PETS". PETS amends the federal Disaster
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to require provisions for rescue,
care, shelter and essential needs of pets and service animals and their
families in emergency and disaster relief, and to require that such
provisions be included in federal, state and local emergency and disaster
AKC legislative liaisons can facilitate helping communities and states
to establish these disaster preparedness plans. Fanciers have a very
unique expertise when it comes to traveling with pets. Legislative liaisons
can use this knowledge to assist their local and state governments in
developing these plans. This also helps to build relationships that
can be invaluable when animal control legislation is proposed.
The new brochure created by the Department of Homeland Security, Ready,
is a great place to start. The brochure lays out the basics of creating
an evacuation plan that will allow you to ensure the safety of your
pet. Copies of the brochure can be printed from our website here
or ordered by calling 1-800-BE-READY. AKC has also developed a checklist
of everyday items and pet health care items. The checklist can be printed
directly from our website here.
These documents can assist fanciers and disaster planning officials
in creating their local evacuation and emergency plans.
There are several very important reasons for fanciers to be included
in this process. For example in Louisiana, H772, a bill to create a
statewide pet registry that could be used to reunite animals with their
owners after disasters, originally treated intact animals differently.
The introduced version of the bill would have registered spayed/neutered
animals for a one-time fee of $7.50, but would have required owners
of intact animals to pay a $15.00 fee and to re-register every three
years. The bill was amended to provide for a one-time $15.00 fee for
all animals prior to it being sent to the Governor. It is important
that fanciers be involved in these issues so that they can ensure that
owners, breeders and those who participate in the sport of purebred
dogs are protected under these new plans.
As part of AKC’s commitment to disaster preparedness, we have
hired Marcy Zingler, a longtime fancier who has significant background
working with clubs, including exposure as a breeder, delegate and judge
to work full-time on these important issues. One of the things Marcy
is charged with is investigating the possibility of creating a ready-to-go
disaster kit for pets. This would contain things such as a folder for
medical records, travel bowls and some basic first aid items. The plan
is for AKC to sell these kits to individuals and in bulk to clubs so
they could be sold as fundraisers. Marcy will be working in our New
York office and can be reached at 212-696-8346.