duct tape, plastic sheeting, Meow Mix…

Here’s a bit of post-Katrina fallout I hadn’t heard about. Last year, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which requires local jurisdictions to include in their emergency evacuation plans means to evacuate pets along with people. As a result, counties around DC are coming up with all sorts of pet evacuation contingencies, including mobile centers stocked with pet carriers and supplies so that people don’t have to abandon their pets in the event of an emergency.

It’s controversial, of course, and I’m sure there will be more than a few of you who will chime in to tell me how ridiculous it is, but I think it’s great, and here’s why:

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

  1. Some pet owners WILL refuse to evacuate if their pets can’t come too. Right or wrong, it’s reality, so making provision for domestic animals will result in human lives being saved.
  2. Pets are valuable calming influences in stressful times, particularly for children and the elderly. Having to live with the image of your beloved companion fending for himself and wondering where his humans are, on the other hand, is only going to make the emergency more traumatic. A bag of kibble and a crate seem like a reasonable investment in heading off additional personal trauma.
  3. Remember those lawsuits by Katrina victims whose abandoned pets had been adopted out by shelters?
  4. $20,000 seems like a lot of Homeland Security money until you think about all the money spent on clueless airport screeners who can’t spot a gun on an X-ray but who won’t hesitate to confiscate your 3 oz. of shampoo because you forgot to bring along a plastic baggie. Twenty grand on something that actually will save lives seems cheap in comparison.
  5. While I agree that pets are less important than people, they’re still living creatures that we have taken under our care. If we CAN save them, why shouldn’t we?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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