The claim that the PETS Act requires hotels/motels to shelter your animals is false.
Let me explain.
Why Was The PETS Act Passed?
The PETS Act was signed into law on October 6th, 2006.
The bill was brought forward after the events of Hurricane Katrina. Before and during Katrina, there were no evacuation measures for pets set in place when natural disasters occurred in the United States. None. At all. Because of that, it’s estimated that about 70,000 pets were left behind. It’s believed that 15,000 of them were killed.
Images of families leaving their pets behind made international news. One in particular showed a young boy being torn away from his beloved dog, Snowball. Aftermath pictures showed dogs stranded on car roofs and cats swimming to get to safety. The loss and horror was so high, lawmakers decided that evacuation efforts for pets, as well as people, were necessary during future events.
What Does The PETS Act Do?
The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create guidelines for state and local emergency services to use in regards to pets and families with pets during natural disasters. If states wanted FEMA funding, they needed to create emergency plans that:
Allows pets to stay in state or federally funded shelters during natural disasters.
Allows families with pets to enter community shelters with their animals.
Allows rescue operations specifically to save household pets and service animals.
States that included pet rescue and relief efforts in their emergency planning would continue to get FEMA support. Community shelters that allow animals can even be reimbursed for their care later on.
Why Does The PETS Act Not Apply To Hotels/Motels?
The PETS Act only applies to government agencies.
Hotels and motels are not government or state run entities. They are exempt from the law and are not required to shelter animals during natural disasters. It is not illegal for them to turn away pets if it is against hotel policy.
Why Is This Important?
Many people are reblogging the original post without checking how accurate the sources are, if any sources are even provided. Some people in the path of a hurricane may read and believe said information without finding out the truth until they arrive at a hotel. There were reports of a family having their dogs turned away from a hotel during Hurricane Harvey.
Some families may choose to leave their pets in the car and stay into the hotel themselves. Others may lie and then sneak their animals in anyway. Others, still, may leave and try to find more accommodating shelter somewhere else. Either way, this is added stress to an already stressful situation. And it can be dangerous.
If families decide to leave and look for different shelter, they could get stuck in flood waters. It only takes a few inches of water for cars to start floating. If they start floating, they can be dragged through the currents and into extremely flooded areas. Something like this happened during Hurricane Harvey. Six people in one van died because their car was submerged in flood waters after the family members tried to escape the area.
During times like this, proper safety and shelter information is a must. You should always double-check everything before you reblog it when lives are on the line. You don’t know who’s reading it. You don’t know who will believe it. You don’t know what that misinformation will cost someone.
found @ 28 likes ON 2019-03-04 06:58:23 BY ME.ME