Peters Joins Disaster Response Experts and Rescue Animals in Lansing to Highlight His New Law Protecting Animals When Natural Disasters Strike

– U.S. Senator Gary
Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Committee, toured the American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter in Lansing to
highlight his legislation – which was recently signed into law – to
help protect animals during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and
emergencies. During the visit, Peters was joined by rescue animals and saw
facilities critical to the Red Cross’ efforts to help Michigan communities
respond to and recover from natural disasters. The visit also highlighted how
the Red Cross and Michigan Humane work to shelter, rescue and care for
household pets before, during and after extreme weather events. Peters met with
members of the Michigan Humane Emergency Animal Rescue team and heard about
their recent deployment to Florida where they assisted with animal rescue
operations in the wake of Hurricane Ian.


I heard tragic stories from disaster response and animal welfare professionals
on how people in Michigan and across the nation have been harmed because they
refused to leave their beloved pets behind and evacuate when disasters strike.
No one should have to choose between these beloved animals, which are often
considered family members, and getting to safety,” said Senator Peters.
“Now that it’s law, my bipartisan PAW Act will help ensure that every
American, as well as first responders and dedicated disaster response and
animal rescue workers from organizations like the Red Cross and Michigan Humane
are better prepared to keep every member of our family — even the ones with
paws, fur and feathers — safe amid extreme weather events.” 


Humane is committed to the health and safety of every animal, including by
ensuring that our dedicated Animal Rescue Team is quickly on the ground after
natural disasters to rescue cherished pets that may have been harmed,” said
Matt Pepper, CEO of Michigan Humane.
“Now that the PAW Act has been signed
into law, this team can be sure that they have the most up-to-date guidance
from FEMA on how to prevent the loss of household pets from natural disasters.
By leading this effort, Senator Peters has once again shown his commitment to
protecting animals and their families.”


“I was pleased to welcome Senator Peters to our facility in
Lansing today to see how the Red Cross is working to protect families – and
beloved animals – from natural disasters and emergencies,” said Mary
Lynn Foster, CEO of the American Red Cross Michigan Region


the visit, Peters toured the Red Cross’ facilities where they store safety
equipment, medical supplies, and other items that help disaster response workers
respond to extreme weather events such as severe storms and flooding. The Red
Cross can also help direct families toward animal shelters that are able to
shelter and care for cherished pets during, before, and after disasters. Peters
was also joined by animal welfare professionals from Michigan Humane and their
Emergency Animal Rescue team that helps care for thousands of injured animals
across Michigan each year, including during and after natural disasters. Peters
met with members of the team that recently returned from Florida where they
worked to rescue animals that were harmed during Hurricane Ian. Peters was
joined by rescue animals during the visit.


visit highlighted how Peters’ Planning for Animal Wellness (PAW) Act,
which was recently signed into law, would ensure disaster response and
animal welfare experts have the most up-to-date expert guidance from the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on how to care for and shelter
animals during natural disasters. The new law directs the FEMA Administrator to
establish an advisory group with outside experts to ensure that current FEMA
guidance is aligned with best practices in animal care for disaster
preparedness, response, and recovery. President Biden signed the bill into law
on Monday, October 17th.


Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters
has led several efforts to strengthen our federal disaster preparedness and
response. Peters secured
$500 million in funding as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill for a program
he created
to help states establish revolving loan programs for local
governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce the risk of shoreline
erosion, extreme flooding, and other natural disasters. His bill to protect
FEMA Reservists’ jobs during disaster response was signed
into law
. Peters also
convened a hearing
with disaster preparedness and response experts to hear
how worsening natural disasters, including flooding, severe storms, and
wildfires, continue to harm lives and livelihoods in Michigan and across the