ASPCA Appears before Congress in Support of PREPARED Act

February 12, 2020

Rescuer and cat

  • The ASPCA provided expert testimony in the U.S. House in support of the PREPARED Act, which would require Animal Welfare Act license holders to create disaster plans that account for those animals.
  • The ASPCA regularly deploys nationwide to assist in pre- and post-disaster care for animals affected by catastrophes like tornadoes, floods and wildfires.
  • To ensure animals are included in disaster planning, urge your lawmakers to pass the PREPARED Act.

Today, the ASPCA testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the vital importance of including animals in disaster planning. We called upon Congress to pass the PREPARED Act, which would ensure animals in institutional settings covered by the Animal Welfare Act are protected. Dogs in puppy mills, animals used in research facilities, and animals displayed in zoos and public exhibits would all benefit from this requirement.

This marks the third time in three weeks that Congress has asked for the ASPCA’s testimony regarding animal welfare-related legislation. In recent weeks, we also advocated for a ban on the slaughter of American horses and for more humane management of wild horses and burros.

The ASPCA is a national leader in animal-related disaster response, with field expertise gained all over the country. We have partnered with local authorities to rescue and shelter animals in harm’s way during hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires. We know firsthand how a lack of preparation can lead to dire consequences for animals left behind. Additionally, we want to ensure that no one has to face the difficult choice between evacuating to safety without their pets or staying behind in a disaster.

“Congress can and should address the remaining gaps in the inclusion of animals in disaster planning. In particular, the ASPCA urges Congress to pass H.R. 1042, the Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters Act or PREPARED Act. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Chairwoman Dina Titus (D-NV) and Representative Peter King (R-NY), will ensure that animals in certain institutional settings—such as zoos, research facilities, and commercial breeding operations—create detailed plans to protect the animals in their care during disasters and ensure that their employees know what steps to take when an emergency occurs,” stated Richard Patch, ASPCA Vice President of Federal Affairs.

With natural disasters occurring more frequently, it’s more important than ever that we are prepared to protect and care for animals who can’t fend for themselves.

You too can tell Congress how important it is for animals to be included in disaster planning. Please urge your lawmakers to pass the PREPARED Act today!