Debunking rumors about pets and evacuations

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- There’s been quite a bit of false information circling the internet about Hurricane Irma, including one post which claims it is illegal for a hotel or motel to deny service to you because you are bringing a pet. This is not true. According to the Charleston Animal Society, there are no laws requiring hotels to allow your pet. The post references the “PETS Act”, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which makes no mention to hotel policies.The PETS Act means pets need to be included in emergency planning. So public entities, like local governments, can be reimbursed for services they provide for pets in a disaster (for example, a pet-friendly shelter or emergency veterinary care). Charleston County says they use this act and get reimbursed by FEMA for the pet-friendly shelter that will be open on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston.

In a time of emergency, hotels can choose to lift their “no pets” policy as a courtesy, but they are not required to do that. Make sure you are checking with hotels to see if they will accommodate your pet if you choose to evacuate.


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