Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nice doggie

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?

(Via Lycangeek)


David said...

Even if a big weird disaster was headed our way I would not, could not leave my cat(s) behind. Even if I had to wrap them in a towel and stuff them in a backpack (and Allie's probably the only one who might have gone along with that). I guess I'm just turning into one of those crazy cat people, but they've all been my kids — and no one leaves their kids behind, do they?

Jon said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I couldn't do it, they are my kids. If I had to leave them behind, I wouldn't go.
They are part of every decision that is made that would affect them, including moving.
It may seem weird, but the cats are part of my family, as much as every member of my actual related family.

Crazy cat person reporting for duty...

David said...

Crazy Cat People of the World, unite!

Jon said...

Would that be CCPOW or CCPW? I like CCPOW (as in KA-POW) myself.

I think, as it is with family, it takes a little bit of craziness to love another being enough to risk your own well being for theirs.