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11:29 AM on 03/21/2011
In the chaos of natural disasters, knowing that one's animal family members are included in governmental plans, including shelter and transportation, would be instrumental in reducing stress and suffering -- and saving the lives of both humans and cherished animal companions. No distaster plan is complete without provisions for animals.
11:24 AM on 03/21/2011
Thank you, Ms. Newkirk. I let the State Department know that forcing U.S. families to make a heartbreaking choice between staying in dangerous, miserable conditions or having to abandon a family member to those conditions is completely unacceptable. America has to stand for something better than that.

I would never, ever leave my dog behind, no matter what was happening.
11:13 AM on 03/21/2011
I sincerely hope the State Department changes this policy ASAP. No one should be forced to leave their beloved ones behind during a time of crisis.
10:30 AM on 03/21/2011
Thank God that PETA is helping to save stray, injured, and orphaned animals in Japan. I would much rather die than leave my beloved companion behind to suffer and die alone. No one should not be faced with such a horrible choice, though. Both people and animals should be included in emergency plans.
10:12 AM on 03/21/2011
I could never leave my cats behind, and no one should ever have to make that choice.
10:11 AM on 03/21/2011
Animals are living, thinking feeling beings, too. If you wouldn't leave your child behind, you shouldn't have to leave your companion animal behind. If we are forced to leave them behind and fend for themselves during a disaster, it is the ultimate betrayal of the love and trust we share with our animals. It is so sad the people are forced to choose between their own lives and that of their animals. So sad.
10:03 AM on 03/21/2011
A policy that would allow fleeing disaster-refugees to take their companion animals with them makes sense for humanitarian reasons and because it takes the animal out of harm's way, which in turn reduces demand on the rescue resources.
09:36 AM on 03/21/2011
In places around the world it is illegal to abandon animals. It should also be a human rights violation, to force people to undergo severe emotional distress like this. It should be illegal to purposefully leave an animal to suffer, knowing that it will die no matter where you are on the planet. At a time when people need the most care and understanding, the U.S. is trying to save a buck by tearing families apart and condemning animals to starvation and death.
09:35 AM on 03/21/2011
Evacuees must leave behind their homes and posessions--if anything remains of them. The government needs to allow these traumatized people to bring every member of the family to safety.
09:34 AM on 03/21/2011
By refusing to evacuate animals with their families, the US is endangering the lives of its citizens.
09:33 AM on 03/21/2011
I would never leave my pookie Zeus...he's coming with me no matter what!
09:30 AM on 03/21/2011
Thank you Ms. Newkirk and PETA for your attention to our beloved animal companions during this time of crisis. Our animal companions are parts of our families, and the State Department needs to allow families to evacuate together.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Lucy P
09:08 AM on 03/21/2011
Many people would rather die than leave their animals behind in an evacuation. Refusing to evacuate animals puts humans in danger, too. All living beings need help and protection during emergencies.
09:03 AM on 03/21/2011
The U.S. needs to follow the U.K.'s example and let people evacuate ALL of their family, animals included
08:52 AM on 03/21/2011
I don't know how the US gov't could argue against this point. Rescuing animals should be a top priority.