The purpose of this policy is to identify the expenses related to State and local governments' emergency pet evacuation and sheltering activities that may be eligible for reimbursement following a major disaster or emergency declaration. This policy is applicable to all major disasters and emergencies declared on or after its date of issuance. It is intended to be used by FEMA personnel involved in making eligibility determinations under the Public Assistance Program.
TITLE: Eligible Costs Related to Pet Evacuations and Sheltering
DATE: October 24, 2007
The purpose of this policy is to identify the expenses related to State and local governments' emergency pet evacuation and sheltering activities that may be eligible for reimbursement following a major disaster or emergency declaration.
SCOPE AND AUDIENCE:
This policy is applicable to all major disasters and emergencies declared on or after its date of issuance. It is intended to be used by FEMA personnel involved in making eligibility determinations under the Public Assistance Program.
Sections 403 and 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5170b, 42 U.S.C. 5192; the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) of 2006, P.L. No. 109-308, § 4, 120 Stat. 1725 (2006); and 44 CFR §§ 206.223(a), 206.225(a).
On October 6, 2006, the PETS Act was signed into law, amending Section 403 of the Stafford Act. Section 403, as amended by the PETS Act, authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals, and to the household pets and animals themselves following a major disaster or emergency.
Household Pet. A domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, rodent, or turtle that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes, can travel in commercial carriers, and be housed in temporary facilities. Household pets do not include reptiles (except turtles), amphibians, fish, insects/arachnids, farm animals (including horses), and animals kept for racing purposes.
Service Animal. Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
Congregate Household Pet Shelters. Any private or public facility that provides refuge to rescued household pets and the household pets of shelterees in response to a declared major disaster or emergency.
Eligibility. State and local governments that receive evacuees from areas declared a major disaster or an emergency may seek reimbursement for eligible pet rescue, sheltering, and evacuation-support costs.
State and local governments outside the designated disaster area may seek reimbursement under mutual aid protocols through the affected and supported state(s). (44 CFR § 206.223(a)(2)).
State and local governments are the only eligible applicants for sheltering and rescuing household pets and service animals. Contractors or private nonprofit (PNP) organizations that shelter or rescue household pets and service animals cannot be reimbursed directly as an applicant. However, contractors and PNPs can be reimbursed for sheltering and rescuing household pets and service animals through a state or local government, provided a written statement from an eligible applicant is presented in which the applicant verifies that the contractor or PNP is performing or has performed sheltering or rescuing operations on the applicant's behalf and the expenses are documented.
Household Pet Rescue. State and local governments may conduct rescue operations for household pets directly or they may contract with other providers for such services. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
Overtime for regular full-time employees.
Regular-time and overtime for contract labor (including mutual aid agreements) specifically hired to provide additional support required as a result of the disaster.
The use of applicant-owned or leased equipment (such as buses or other vehicles) to provide eligible pet transportation to congregate pet shelters may be reimbursed according to 44 CFR § 206.228(1)(a) (does not include operator labor). The cost of leasing equipment for this purpose may also be eligible for reimbursement.
Congregate Household Pet Sheltering. State and local governments may conduct sheltering operations for pets directly, or may contract with other sheltering providers for such services. Eligible Category B congregate pet sheltering costs may include, but are not limited to, the reasonable costs for:
Minor modifications to buildings used for congregate household pet sheltering, if necessary to provide increased capacity for the accommodation of shelterees' household pets.
Facility lease or rent.
Increase in utility costs, such as power, water, and telephone.
Generator lease and operation (but not purchase).
Shelter safety and security.
Shelter and crate/cage cleaning.
Supplies and Commodities. Eligible items are those needed for, and used directly on, the declared disaster, and are reasonable in both cost and need. Examples include:
Food, water, and bowls.
Pet transport carriers.
Animal cleaning tables and supplies.
Medication for animal decontamination and parasite control to ensure that the animal is not a health threat to humans or other animals.
Eligible Labor. If the regular employees of an eligible applicant perform duties in direct support of congregate pet sheltering operations, any overtime pay related to such duties is eligible for reimbursement. However, the straight-time pay of these employees is not eligible. Regular-time and overtime for contract labor, including mutual aid agreements, specifically hired to provide additional support required as a result of the disaster or emergency is also eligible for reimbursement.
Equipment. The use of applicant-owned or leased equipment (such as buses, trucks, or other vehicles) to provide eligible pet evacuation or sheltering support may be reimbursed according to 44 CFR §206.228(1)(a) (does not include operator labor). The cost of leasing equipment may also be an eligible expense for reimbursement.
Emergency Veterinary Services. For the purposes of screening the health of household pets and service animals, and assessing and treating minor illnesses and injuries, congregate pet shelters may be staffed with emergency veterinary teams. The following costs related to the provision of emergency veterinary services in a congregate pet sheltering environment are eligible for reimbursement:
Veterinary diagnosis, triage, treatment, and stabilization.
Provision of first aid, including materials (bandages, etc.).
Supervision of paid and volunteer veterinary staff.
Vaccinations administered to protect the health and safety of congregate shelter and supporting emergency workers including but not limited to tetanus and hepatitis.
Vaccinations administered to protect the health and safety of congregate shelter pets for transmissible or contagious diseases including but not limited to bordetella/kennel cough.
Transportation. Transportation of evacuees' household pets and service animals to congregate shelters from pre-established pickup locations is an eligible expense when the means of transportation used is the most cost-effective available.
Shelter Safety and Security. Additional reimbursable safety and security services may be provided at congregate pet shelters, based upon need.
Cleaning and Restoration. The costs (to the Applicant) to clean, maintain, and restore a facility to pre-congregate pet shelter condition are eligible.
Removal and Disposal of Animal Carcasses. The costs (to the Applicant) to remove and dispose of animal carcasses in a safe and timely manner and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations are eligible.
Cataloging/Tracking System for Pets. The reasonable costs (to the Applicant) for tracking animals at congregate pet shelters for the purposes of reuniting them with their owners are eligible.
Service animals. Service animals will be sheltered with their owners in congregate shelters.
Length of Operation. Costs of sheltering/caring for household pets will no longer be eligible for FEMA reimbursement when the pet owner transitions out of Section 403 emergency sheltering.
ORIGINATING OFFICE: Disaster Assistance Directorate (Public Assistance Division).
SUPERSESSION: This policy supersedes all previous guidance on this subject.
REVIEW DATE: Three years from date of publication.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate