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I was just reading about the PETS act, which exists to provide plans… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
I was just reading about the PETS act, which exists to provide plans to evacuate animals during natural disasters, and was surprised to see people annoyed about it. (I suppose I shouldn't be, but I am.)

First, I'll grant that we need to fix the whole evacuation system in general. We're very bad at it, as was amply demonstrated during Katrina. But it strikes me that taking logical steps to fix this problem would include things like paying attention to what people actually value. This is a good thing.

And we do have some responsibility to animals, dammit!
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valerie_valerah From: valerie_valerah Date: May 27th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know I wouldn't want to leave my dog behind during an evacuation :(
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see saying that you have to get out in a certain amount of time, which might end up costing a pet, but if you can get to your pet and then they don't allow you to take it or have anywhere for it to go... man, that sucks. I mean, the pet's part of the family. You take care of it and it counts on you. Part of the whole pet-owning thing is developing the idea that you are responsible for another creature's life. Unlearning that lesson doesn't strike me as a good thing.
neotoma From: neotoma Date: May 27th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not only do people value their pets, but the less abandoned pets there are, the less the recovery workers have to worry about dogs and cats gone feral.

So, double benefit if you look at it that way. Happy pet-owners, and less worry about dangerous animals for the recovery teams.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. And fewer kids running back into the storm to save Fido, and less disease if the animals don't live long enough to go feral--it strikes me as, aside from being morally right, pragmatically intelligent to have a system in place before a crisis comes, so that things go more smoothly.

I don't get the "Oh, just accept that they'll die!" attitude... it's just not the way the human brain is put together. You can't expect a system to work that doesn't accept some basic facts of human behavior under stress.
matril From: matril Date: May 27th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know of people living in senior homes in Florida who, bless them, don't leave during hurricanes because they're supposed to leave their pets behind, and they refuse to abandon them. It'd be nice if they could be assured of their animals' safety so they're willing to evacuate the area themselves.
dessieoctavia From: dessieoctavia Date: May 27th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Word. It really steamed me when I posted about that to my LJ and a couple of jerks posted saying, "Noooo, they shouldn't do this!"
sabrinanymph From: sabrinanymph Date: May 27th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could see people being annoyed if they feel like it puts evacuating animals on a higher priority than evacuating people. However, in general I don't see ensuring that people can take pets with them when they evacuate as being a bad thing. And it sounds as if some cases (i.e. the comment above about elderly people not wanting to leave their pets), ensuring that animals had a location where they could go could help encourage people evacuate as well.

My cats are certainly a part of my family and when we used to have tornado warnings, if I could find them I'd always bring them down into the basement with us.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could see people being annoyed if they feel like it puts evacuating animals on a higher priority than evacuating people.

Yeah, but I don't really get that out of the law in question--it certainly doesn't say that pets should have a place ahead of people, only that they should have a plan as well as people.

I think there are just people out there who think attachment to animals is frivolous or something. I'd wager they are people who've never been friends with a cat or dog.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 27th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do sort of have a nightmare image going through my mind where a bureaucrat can only take out cats and dogs but his job is on the line if he helps in evacuating a hospital.

Other than that, I'm for it. There were people, after all, who didn't want to be evacuated when they realized it meant leaving pets behind.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 27th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do sort of have a nightmare image going through my mind where a bureaucrat can only take out cats and dogs but his job is on the line if he helps in evacuating a hospital.

Yeah, that would qualify as stupid, but that's more of a nightmare about bad bureaucratic handling than anything else. I would also have nightmares of a guy working in an animal shelter who was required to go across town and see if he'd be of use before rescuing the animals he has right there. It would seem to be a smarter use of time to get the animals on a truck and moved out, then get the transport and head over.

Of course, bureaucracy is the main problem with all evacuation issues. It's one place where geography really, really needs to count above job functions. You get people in an area, and you have a system in place to work that area--people, animals, hell... artwork and valuables if there's time. But that's only going to work if each rescue worker is handling a limited area. Now, of course, I can then see a bureaucratic mindset turning around and saying, "If you see someone drowning across the street from where your area ends, leave him for his own coordinator," but honestly... can't we trust people to use a little bit of common sense? People being penalized for using common sense is beyond stupid.
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