VERIFY: Are hotels obligated to accomodate pets during an evacuation?

Under The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, are hotels and motels required to ditch their "no pets allowed" policies?

WASHINGTON (WUSA) - QUESTION:

Under The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, are hotels and motels required to ditch their "no pets allowed" policies? 

ANSWER:

Nope, not according to this law!

SOURCES:

PUBLIC LAW 109–308—OCT. 6, 2006

FEMA- U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

"Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business" -U.S. Department of Justice

Florida State Emergency Response Team

PROCESS:

Not many people would want to part with their beloved pet during a hazardous weather, but don't rely on hotels scaling back "no pets allowed" policies just because there's a state of emergency. 

A viewer reached out to Verify to determine whether The Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, the public law that requires state and local agencies to plan for pets in emergency preparedness operations, applies to hotels. 

The law makes no mention of requiring private hotels and industries to accommodate pets. FEMA confirmed this.

"Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act (Pub. L. 109-308 (2006)) to ensure that emergency operations rescue, care, shelter, and meet the essential needs of household pets and service animals," FEMA writes on their website. "Hotels and motels participating do not fall under the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act (Pub. L. 109-308 (2006)). Please call the hotel before you go and ask if pets are permitted."

Under The Americans with Disabilities Act, private businesses--including hotels--are banned from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and must allow service dogs. 

Besides this exception, there is no way to make a hotel welcome your furry friend. However, in Florida, each county designates shelters that accommodate pets. 

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© 2017 WUSA-TV


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