PAWS law is signed into law, bringing more attention to animals during natural disasters

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Following the passage of its Animal Welfare Planning (PAW) Act earlier this month, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) visited the American Red Cross at its Lansing chapter , Michigan, this week to highlight community efforts to help them — and their pets — recover from natural disasters.

“Today I heard tragic stories from disaster response and animal welfare professionals of how people in Michigan and across the country have been hurt because they refused to leave behind their beloved pets and evacuate in the event of a disaster No one should have to choose between these beloved animals, who are often considered family members, and put themselves safe,” Peters said. “Now that it’s the law, my bipartisan PAW law will help ensure that every American, as well as first responders and dedicated disaster relief and animal rescue organizations like the Red Cross and Michigan Humane, are better prepared to keep every member of our family. – even those with paws, fur and feathers – safe during extreme weather events.

PAW asked the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create an advisory group of external experts to assess current FEMA guidelines and ensure that its policies reflect best practices in patient care. animals in disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Introduced by Peters in the Senate, he was sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV).

As a result, Peters used the trip to highlight how the Red Cross and the Michigan Humane Society work to shelter, rescue, and care for pets before, during, and after extreme weather events, and collected stories of recent efforts. in Florida, where members of the Michigan Humane Emergency Animal Rescue Team assisted in animal rescues after Hurricane Ian. The senator was shown safety gear, medical supplies and other items essential to extreme weather response and met with animal welfare professionals who care for injured animals across the country. State during and after natural disasters.

“Michigan Humane is committed to the health and safety of every animal, including ensuring that our dedicated animal rescue team is on the ground quickly after natural disasters to rescue cherished pets who may have been injured. “, Matt Pepper, CEO of Michigan Humane, said. “Now that the PAW Act has been signed into law, this team can be confident that they have the most up-to-date advice from FEMA on how to prevent the loss of pets from natural disasters. By leading this effort, Senator Peters has once again shown his commitment to protecting animals and their families.