After Katrina, and during the cleanup and continued evacuation, I was struck by news reports of people choosing to stay behind in the devastation with their pets. The animals weren't eligible for evacuation, so would have to have been left behind. It seemed to have been elderly people, but they may have just been the ones unable to leave on their own devices before the hurricane struck. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it must have been to have to make that sort of choice.
There is a bill, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires "local and state disaster plans to include provisions for household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency." It's been passed by both Houses, and is now in committee to work out the differences between the bills.
It's not that I can't see the point behind not letting people take their cats and dogs and birds and ferrets when evacuating, but service animals? You know, the dog that stops you a blind person from walking out into traffic? It's not like people were leaving for a weekend; many still haven't returned to their homes. What's next, some little old lady can't take her cane?