Rep. Marino’s Keep Our Pets Safe Act Garnering Praise
Washington, D.C.- In 2017, United Airlines had 31 incidents of injuries to pets on their domestic and international flights, 18 of which resulted in the death of the animal. The most recent came when an airline attendant forced a family to put their puppy in an overhead compartment, which caused it distress and resulted in its death. After this incident, it is clear a federal law is needed to hold individuals accountable when there is no clear legal jurisdiction.
In February, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) introduced H.R. 4941, the Keep Our Pets Safe Act, which makes it a federal offense to knowingly leave a pet in a car or other confined space if the animal could die because of exposure to heat or cold, lack of ventilation, or lack of water. Under the Act, violations are punishable by a fine and up to a year in jail. What happened on the United Airlines flight is a clear example of confining a pet in a dangerous situation, and had the Keep Our Pets Safe Act been law, someone could have been held accountable for the puppy’s untimely death.
Since being introduced, the Keep Our Pets Safe Act has gained an endorsement from the Humane Society Legislative Fund and has been the subject of several news reports around the country.
In an interview with Morgan Wright of NexStar Media Group, Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society discussed Congressman Marino’s Keep Our Pets Safe Act saying, “it works complimentary with state and municipal laws.” Block stated, “These are members of our family and they deserve and need to be kept safe and treated in a way they will not be injured.” You can listen to the interview here.
In a story on Evansville Eyewitness News in Indiana, Amanda Coburn of the Vanderburgh Humane Society stated, “I think we have a responsibility as humans to protect the species that can’t speak for themselves.” That news report can be viewed here.
Congressman Marino issued the following statement:
“I am pleased to see the positive reception from advocacy groups and news stations across the country for the Keep Our Pets Safe Act. As an animal lover, it breaks my heart to see families lose their pets due to the negligence of others, and I want to see people held accountable for these deaths. I did not introduce this bill in direct response to what happened on this United Airlines flight but my bill would make it easier to hold someone accountable by making it a federal offense and not simply relying on patchwork state laws.”