Thanks to Katrina...
Well, not thanks to the hurricane but to the outcome of that terrible day.
I was going to post this in the "Animals in the News" thread, but I thought others might like to post other things about Katrina here.
We were evacuated here during the 1997 floods mentioned below, but that was before we could return from a long weekend trip to visit my folks. Left behind were my kitty, my dog Red, and a rabbit. They wouldn't let us return to check on them, even though our home was not in imminent danger. If we had been home at the time of the evacuations, I know I wouldn't have left my animals behind.
We were allowed to return about a week later. Thankfully, all animals had a nice layer of fat that kept them going until I could fill their bowls with copious amounts of num-nums. :)
Assembly Passes Bill Requiring Disaster Preps Include Animal Care
Headed to the governor's desk is a bill that would require household pets, livestock, horses, and service animals be included in disaster preparation plans.
Assembly Bill 450, sponsored by Assem. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, was approved 61-1 by the Assembly today. It would require the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Agriculture, and other agencies involved with disaster response planning to develop a Memorandum of Understanding plan that addresses the needs of animals after a major disaster or emergency.
"We only need to remember the images in Louisiana and Mississippi of people stranded on roofs with their pets, and farmers left without their livelihood, to realize we need to consider animals in disaster preparedness," said Yee in a prepared statement. "I urge the governor to sign this bill into law."
More than 235,000 animals were estimated to have been killed in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. There are anecdotal accounts of Gulf Coast residents refusing to leave because there were no provisions for their animals.
In 1997, Yuba County implemented a mandatory evacuation order after a levee failed, resulting in major floods. A study undertaken after the event showed that nearly 21 percent of households with pets did not evacuate and more than 80 percent of those who re-entered the evacuated area without authorization did so attempting to rescue their pets and/or livestock.