Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Allow Pets on Public Transportation in a State of Emergency and Evacuation

According to THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF NEW YORK STATE, last month Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.7112/A.4956) to authorize pets boarding public transportation service in the event of a state of emergency and evacuation. This legislation expands existing law to include Port Authority Public Transportation and is consistent with current emergency operation plans pertaining to the needs of animals and pet owners.

“For many New Yorkers, their pets are members of their families, and no one should be forced to abandon them in the event of an evacuation,” Governor Cuomo said.  “I’m proud to sign this commonsense, humane legislation to bring comfort to pet owners in times of distress.”Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

During Superstorm Sandy, many pet owners refused to evacuate when requested because they could not take their companion animals with them to safety. This situation to refuse evacuation not only jeopardized the lives of residents and defenseless pets, but also the emergency personnel struggling to evacuate them.

Senator Andrew Lanza said, “I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law. Last year we worked together to ensure that pets could be transported on MTA buses and trains in the event of a state of emergency evacuation order. This bill expands the scope, ensuring that the same companion animal measures are in place for all public transportation provided through the Port Authority. This law will help ensure that the lives of residents, defenseless pets and emergency personnel struggling to assist with evacuations are not unnecessarily jeopardized.”

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, “Pets are like family, and no one should be expected to leave a beloved family member behind to fend for themselves in a natural disaster. This law will ensure that all New Yorkers – both two- and four-legged – can escape to safety on all available means of public transportation, including those operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”