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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

New News — New York City Alters Policy To Allow Pets In Emergency Shelters

April 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

As I mentioned on the The Brian Lehrer Show earlier today, the City has altered its policy to permit pets in emergency shelters during a disaster.

The change had been made previously but it had not been publicly announced, according to a New York City Office of Emergency Management spokesperson.

I checked with OEM after receiving a call on air during last week’s show. The caller, “Mira from Oceanside”, urged pet owners to prepare for disasters in part because they would not be allowed in emergency shelters. 

The change comes as a result of discussions between the City, the animal protection community and pet owners. To me, it is a case study in how public preparedness policy should be made combining increased citizen responsibility with responsive government.

Though the shelters should be viewed as a place of last resort for animals during a disaster, the City will no longer turn away people with pets. 

Among the emergency preparations pet owners should be making in advance:

*a ‘Go-Bag’ for each animal;

*establishing a place to keep the pet outside of the disaster area if there is warning; and

*microchipping the pet with the owner’s information in case they are lost

Here in New York, the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City Animals  will be microchipping dogs and cats at their adoption festivals throughout the City at the discount rate of $25. Check their web site for places and times.

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Tags: Pets

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