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Federal law requires planning for pet safety in natural disasters

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

A federal law signed by President Joe Biden Monday is designed to keep pets safe in natural disasters.

The Planning for Animal Wellness (PAW) Act will establish an expert group dedicated to animal care practices for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The group will operate under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), the legislation's sponsor, said the group will help emergency care providers give the best pet care possible.

“This new law will help make sure that FEMA and first responders in Michigan and across the nation can help protect every member of our families,” Peters said in a press release.

Molly Tamulevich, Director for the Humane Society’s Michigan branch, said the law aptly reflects the love Michiganders hold for their pets.

“Michiganders know that animals deserve to be considered in all emergency planning,” Tamulevich said.

She said as climate change makes natural disasters like flooding and hurricanes increasingly common, the PAW Act makes sure pets are given the attention and care they need.

Emily is a junior at the University of Michigan double majoring in Communications and Creative Writing.
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