Implement FEMA's PETS Act & lift the airline pet-travel restrictions in Puerto Rico
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We are asking FEMA to fully implement the PETS Act, and for airlines to actively mirror-enforce parts of this regulation in order to transport pets safely out of Puerto Rico and into the USA, thus, reinstating pet-travel in their cargo area. The emotional toll of losing your home, job and place of residence is grave enough adding insult to injury when being forced to abandon a loved one.
Families in Puerto Rico are not allowed to take their pets with them when traveling domestically -to any of the 50 states- due to a recent airline pet-travel restriction post hurricane Maria; we want it lifted.
Pets weighing up to twenty pounds are allowed in the main cabin on commercial flights, but above the 20-pound-rule, pets are only allowed to travel in cargo. The latter policy has been barred, becoming a major stumbling block for pet owners traveling with their pets outside of Puerto Rico.
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) remarks on the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006 (PETS Act) clearly states that PETSA is deemed operational when a federal disaster declaration has been made. The Department of Homeland Security’s, FEMA, should be providing “rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals, and to the household pets and animals themselves following a major disaster or emergency”, through its Disaster Assistance-Pet Evacuations and Sheltering policy DAP9523.19.
There has been confusion on what exactly is going on. An article from the Huffington Post mentioned that,
“On top of logistical issues, there’s confusion about what airline policies actually are, and who is making the rules. A widely shared Daily Beast story said a ‘federal ban’ was trapping pets in Puerto Rico.
However, both FEMA and the FAA told HuffPost they were not aware of such a ban. Multiple airlines said they did not know about any such embargo coming from federal authorities”
This ongoing restriction, enforced by the airlines, has already left thousands of pets abandoned in the Island, during what has been deemed the second largest exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland since WWII. That is to say, and contrary to the law, that American citizens are not allowed to travel to safety with their entire family following a major disaster or emergency declaration.
Please sign this petition.
Pet Friendly PR, Corp., Fundación Almas Gemelas, Inc. and Barreto Animal Rescue Mission, Inc. [all 501 (c)(3) orgs] and Ileán Pérez Cruz.
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