Verify: Are hotels required to take in pets during an emergency?

VERIFY: Hotels required to take in hurricane pets?

"Apparently, there's a law that every hotel in evacuation has to allow pets, and they are not allowing pets." Betty Medernach says.

A Facebook post has been going around saying under the Federal Pets Act, all hotels in an emergency situation have to allow pets, and it has caught the attention of many evacuees who say finding a hotel to accommodate their pets has been nearly impossible. 

So does the federal Pets Act require hotels to let your pets stay during a emergency? 

Nicole Butler reached out to a FEMA spokesperson to Verify the facts. Here's a look at what she learned.

After hours of driving, many evacuees have pulled over to rest. 

One of them is Betty Medernach from Port Charlotte, Florida.

She says it's not just people dealing with Irma's effects, their pets are, too.

"But I'm telling you, every car that goes by has a pet in it. Where do these people go at night? We've at a lot of people sleep in the hotel parking lot with pets," Medernach says.

Medernach says she's seen a Facebook post going around saying under the Federal Pets Act, all hotels in an emergency situation have to allow pets.

"We're homeless right now, all of us on the road are homeless. We've got our pets. They're our kids, you know, you got to take us in," she says.

With Misty, a 75-pound Bernese Mountain Dog, along for the ride, Dina Yacomb says it's been impossible to find a hotel, and leaving Misty in a shelter wasn't an option.

"I wouldn't leave her somewhere where I don't know if she's going to be safe or not. I would rather sleep in the car with my baby and my husband than leaving her somewhere. No, I can't do this to her," Yacomb says.

I spoke with a spokesperson at FEMA about the PETS act that would supposedly keep this family together.

This what they had to say, "In 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act which ensures that emergency rescues and care shelters meet the essential needs of household pets and service animals. Therefore, this does not include hotels."

So they verified that the posts you see floating around Facebook are false.

Click here for a link to help you find pet-friendly hotels in the area you are evacuating, too. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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