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National Animal Disaster Plan

Representatives of approximately 100 government agencies, veterinary and humane organizations and industry groups gathered at the AVMA National Animal Disaster Summit in May with the goal of preventing future animal-related disasters similar to those witnessed during last year’s hurricane season.

When Hurricane Katrina landed along the Gulf Coast, it became painfully obvious how many pet owners were ill-prepared. Moreover, the government’s emergency responders were overwhelmed by the extreme numbers of abandoned pets, many of them in need of veterinary care. Summit attendees discussed new plans of action so that another tragedy like Katrina can be avoided in the future. In short order, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act was introduced in Congress.

If passed, the legislation (H.R. 3858/S.2548) would require local and state emergency authorities to include pets and service animals in their evacuation plans.

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