Animal emergency operations plan
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Companion animal” means a domestic animal commonly kept as a household pet.
(b) “Service animal” means an animal that assists or performs tasks for a person with a sensory, emotional, mental or physical disability.
(2) The Office of Emergency Management, in cooperation with the State Department of Agriculture and local governments, shall prepare a written animal emergency operations plan that provides for the evacuation, transport and temporary sheltering of companion animals and service animals during a major disaster or an emergency.
(3) The office, in developing the plan, shall emphasize the protection of human life and shall consider:
(a) Allowing owners of service animals to be evacuated, transported and sheltered with their service animals;
(b) Establishing a sufficient number of evacuation shelters equipped to temporarily shelter companion animals and service animals in close proximity to a human sheltering facility;
(c) Allowing owners and their companion animals to be evacuated together whenever possible;
(d) Establishing an identification system to ensure that owners who are separated from their companion animals or service animals during an evacuation are provided with all information necessary to locate and reclaim their animals;
(e) Transporting companion animals or service animals, in cages or carriers that safely and securely confine the animals, in an impending major disaster or emergency;
(f) Recommending that animal shelters, humane societies, veterinary offices, boarding kennels, breeders, grooming facilities, animal testing facilities and any other entity that normally houses companion animals or service animals create evacuation plans for the animals housed at their facilities;
(g) Establishing recommended minimum holding periods for companion animals or service animals that are sheltered during a major disaster or an emergency; and
(h) Creating and promoting an educational campaign for owners of companion animals or service animals that will:
(A) Encourage owners to plan for and incorporate their animals in the owners’ personal plans in the event of a major disaster or an emergency; and
(B) Inform owners of companion animals or service animals about the animal emergency operations plan prepared under this section. [Formerly 401.272]
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