The Humane Society of the United States has praised the work of the Oregon Senate and House in passing Oregon’s Animals in Disaster legislation (S.B. 570) yesterday (April 16). The House voted 53 to 5 in favor of the bill.

The HSUS is now urging Governor Ted Kulongoski to pass S.B. 570, which would make Oregon the 13th state to include pets, service animals, and farm animals in disaster or emergency planning.

“We are very pleased Oregon is taking such quick action with legislation that will include animals in emergency response plans,” said Randy Covey, director of disaster services for The HSUS, a former Oregonian. “With passage of this bill, Oregon will be protecting its citizens by helping to ensure they won’t have to make a choice between staying behind with their animals or being rescued. Animal issues are people issues and planning for both in a disaster is the best thing to do.”

Introduced by Senators Ryan Deckert (D-14), Alan Bates (D-12), Kurt Schrader (D-20), Vicki Walker (D-7), and Representative Deborah Boone (D-32), S.B. 570 requires the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to prepare a written emergency plan that provides for the evacuation, transport, and temporary sheltering of companion animals, service animals, and farm animals during a major disaster or an emergency.