This morning, Louisiana’s Governor Blanco signed the Pet Evacuation Bill into law. After Senate passed the law on June 15, 2006, it went to Governor Blanco to sign. The final version of Act 615 is eight pages long, with a total of 34 amendments. The first page reads:
“… to provide additional authorities and responsibilities to the office of homeland security and emergency preparedness and to parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agencies relative to a disaster operation plan for service animals and household pets; to provide for limitation of liability of emergency personnel and owners and operators of facilities used for shelter of household pets and service animals in emergencies; and to provide for related matters.”
The bill also goes on to state a requirment that service animals for disabled peoples “are evacuated, transported, and sheltered with those service animals”. In addition, it lists out several statements regarding assisting those who cannot evacuate by themselves with their animals (the elderly and other disabled peoples), among many, many other important procedures that so desperately need to be “official”.
This is all very, very good for the animals and the people who love them. Just in time for hurricane season, too.