Last month’s ice storm has prompted many New Hampshire communities to evaluate their disaster response plans, including how they handle pets.
Danville Animal Control Officer Sheila Johannsen is trying to alert town officials about a 2006 federal law that requires every community to include the needs of people with pets and service animals in its official disaster plan. Towns that fail to comply risk federal disaster relief money.
In Danville, many pet owners lost heat and electricity in the storm. But many stayed home with their animals rather than go to the shelter at Town Hall, which didn’t allow pets. Johannsen was available to take pets to a nearby pet grooming business, but many people assumed help wasn’t available.