There has been recent discussions regarding animals being allowed or not allowed into human shelters during times of emergency.
When discussing this question with Paul O Williams, Surgi Snuggly Veterinary Advisor and Co - Inventor the following was stated.
“Should people evacuating with their animals be allowed to keep their animals with them”. The answer is yes, with some caveats.
People evacuating with their service animal can stay together under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The rest of us with our animals, we comprise 58.9% of American households, can find relief in the maturation of organized Emergency Management at the Federal, State and local levels.
Part of the main mission of organized Emergency Management is to save human lives and reduce human suffering. Since hurricane Andrew in 1992 there has been a long and arduous road to where we are today. Today, public sector Emergency Management at the Federal, State and local levels are required to have an accommodation for people evacuating and seeking shelter with their animals.
These accommodations can be found in Federal, State and local Emergency Operations Plans and the Federal Pets Evacuation Transportation Standards Act passed by Congress following hurricane Katrina.
Allowing people to evacuate and seek shelter with their animals, indeed, reduces human suffering. The caveat; it reduces suffering of our animals as well. Side effects can be positive.
Paul Williams, DVM Project Consultant Homeland Security Planning and Response Homeland Security Div
Surgi Snuggly Veterinary Advisor and C0-Inventor