As a pet owner, it’s a daunting task to take your best friend on a trip. The rising costs/fees associated with flying as a human passenger have significantly hindered many people from flying, let alone bringing Fido or Fluffy along and train travel was not an option.Yet, hope is on the horizon.
The Pets on Trains Act of 2013 – if passed, will allow safe travel for dogs and cats on trains, which will create a few things:
- An economic boost for train companies(such as Amtrak), who have been struggling for several years.
- It will allow owners the health benefits associated with keeping their pets with them.
- Pet owners will save significant money by not having to pay for kennel or pet care fees.
- It will prevent separation anxiety for both pet and owner.
Pilot Program to Begin
Although the Pets on Train Act will still be working its way through congress, the Transportation Department of Illinois has agreed to allow a pilot program to begin next week allowing train travel with pets ( dogs and cats) between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. With a reasonable fee of $25 per pet, it will hopefully entice owners to hop on a train more often.
Tax Deductions for Pets
Along with an act that may allow pet travel on trains, Representative McCotter(R-Mich), has made a move to introduce a $3,500 tax break for pet medical bills and is asking for co-sponsorship for H.R. 3501, called the Humanity and Partnered Pets Through The Years Act.
Pet advocates are guardedly optimistic over the recent legislation activity surrounding the travel act. However, the outcome of a tax deduction seems less likely, since it appears to have stagnated in a committee and the overall outlook for human health care reform has taken precedence.
What Pet Owners Can Do Now
If more pet owners and advocacy groups begin to lobby and fight for more animal rights, it will hopefully keep the notion in our politician’s minds that a healthy pet = a healthy pet owner. In essence, it will be cutting human health care costs. By incorporating those ideas, maybe one day our greatest companions will be given the equal rights they so deserve.