No doubt this month we will hear and read about many stories commemorating Hurricane Katrina, which will be marking its tenth anniversary this month. One of the stories that touched many hearts around the world, was the story of pets abandoned by their owners, often against the human’s will, hoping that they would come back soon to claim their beloved animal.
While the nation was struggling with the human tragedy of Katrina, the plight of dogs and cats struck a sensitive nerve. The public flooded Congress with letters, and in 2006 the legislature passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act with near unanimous support.
BuzzFeed has an interesting story on this this law, which impels rescue agencies to save pets as well as people during natural disasters, and the public outcry that inspired it, marked a turning point in our relationship with cats and dogs. No longer would we see them as pets or even companion animals. They had become members of society.
As we look back, remember when working on your own family preparedness to include planning for your pets as well. Carriers, food, leashes and other emergency items at the ready will help you be ready to evacuate with your pet in hand. My kitty and I are all ready!