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C2005-42

Dear Christopher Cat

I read your column about providing for family pets during disasters like Hurricane Katrina. I can take care of my own two cats, but what about the people who refuse to leave their homes because there are no shelters for their pets? How can we encourage disaster shelters to accept pets in the future?

Christopher Responds

Some humans are slower than us cats to understand the importance of having a disaster plan for animals. But Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may have provided a wake-up call.

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill requiring state and local authorities to include pets and service animals in their disaster evacuation plans.

Ask your representative to support the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, H.R. 3858.
In addition, ask your local Red Cross chapter to promise to transport and shelter pets and service animals during disasters. According to Red Cross headquarters, the decision is up to individual chapters.

Readers who missed the column on pet disaster planning may request a copy through our Web site or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below.

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