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AKC Endorses Federal PETS Act

(Tuesday, June 06, 2006)
AKC Endorses and Supports S. 2548, The "Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006" (PETS)

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 preparedness plans. PETS was introduced in the Senate April 5, 2006 by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and already has 12 additional co-sponsors. The legislation was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which has not yet taken action on the bill. However, both Sen. Stevens and Lautenberg are members of the Committee, and action is expected this session. The AKC has written members of the Committee urging quick action on the legislation.

Click Here to See Vice President of Communications Noreen Baxter's Letter to the committee members.

A similarly named, but significantly weaker, bill was enacted by the House of Representatives on May 22, 2006. However, if the Senate passes its version of PETS, the stronger Senate bill is likely to be adopted by the conference committee. While the House bill merely requires governmental entities to "take into account" pets and household with pets in preparing disaster plans, the Senate bill mandates that they be included, and includes authorization for funding for pets and people with pets in emergency shelter facilities planning, leasing and construction as well as planning.

The AKC urges all fanciers to contact the offices of your U.S. Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S. 2548 if they have not already done so, and promptly enact the bill. It is important to contact all Senators, but it is especially important if he or she is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which has jurisdiction over the bill. A list of Committee Members and a list of co-sponsors of S. 2548 as of June 1, 2006 follows:

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs
Please click on the Senator's name to send an email in support of PETS.

Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Chair
Ted Stevens (R-AK)
George V. Voinovich (R-OH)
Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Pete V. Domenici (R-MN)
John W. Warner (R-VA)

Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) Ranking Mem.
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
Thomas R. Carper (D-DE)
Mark Dayton (D-MN)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Co-Sponsors of S. 2548 (as of June 1, 2006)

Ted Stevens (R-AK) Sponsor
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Robert C. Byrd (D-WV)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
James M. Jeffords (I-VT)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)