Lawmakers urge pet aid in disasters
September 21, 2006
WASHINGTON -- In a bill sent to President Bush on Wednesday, Congress called for emergency preparedness plans that include helping individuals and families with pets.
People saw images of anguished pet owners asked to abandon their animals to gain shelter or be rescued in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat who has two beagles and a cocker spaniel, said the bill is about "compassion and the recognition of the importance of compassion in the life of this nation."
The bill calls for state and local emergency preparedness plans to make provisions for families with pets and individuals with service animals.
It grants the Federal Emergency Management Agency the authority to help state and local governments develop emergency and evacuation plans that take pets and service animals into account.
It also authorizes some federal financial help for states establishing emergency shelters for people and their pets.The Senate passed the bill in August.
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