Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday that will require counties with designated emergency shelters to designate a shelter for persons with pets.
The bill, HB 705, would also require the Department of Education to play a part in strategizing evacuation for persons with pets in the state comprehensive emergency management plan.
The bill is intended to put Florida in line with the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, which mandates state and local governments to consider persons with pets in their emergency preparedness plans and authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, shelter and essential needs to persons with pets and service animals following an emergency such as a natural disaster.
Republican Rep. Sam Killebrew of Polk County and Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo of Hillsborough County sponsored the measure.
The bill takes effect July 1.
Those considerations include locating pet-friendly shelters that contain amenities such as restrooms, running water, and proper lighting as well as allowing pet owners to interact and care for their animals.
Additionally, shelters should help ensure that the animals are being properly cared for during the emergency.