Public Transport For Pets During Evacuations

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. November 15, 2012

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Senator Jeff Van Drew (photo by Phil Gregory)

What to do with the pets was an issue for some New Jersey residents who were forced to evacuate during Hurricane Sandy.

 A measure advanced by a Senate committee will make it easier to transport pets during emergencies.

The bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew allows people who need to use public transportation during emergency evacuations to take their pets on board.

“It doesn’t matter whether you like pets whether you’re an animal lover or not. I happen to be, but the issue is a safety issue. We found this before very often that there were problems related to people staying too long in their homes during evacuations because they love their dog or their cat and there’s nowhere to take it.”

While many shelters are not pet-friendly, Van Drew says the office of emergency management in each county sets up separate shelters to give evacuees a temporary place for their pets to stay.

“There’s going to be a shelter for your animal if you have where to put it and a shelter for you. You will not be together. It’s going to be a separate shelter. Animals have their own needs and create their own issues and problems do not belong in the same shelter as when you evacuate everyone else.”


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