Time to Take the Train? Amtrak May Soon Allow Pets to Ride the Rails

12-16-13

If you’ve ever wanted to take a train ride and bring your pet along, you were probably disappointed to find out that Amtrak doesn’t allow pets on its trains the way that commercial airlines do. But a group of animal-loving congress members are working to change Amtrak’s restrictive policy.

The bi-partisan group of Congress members including Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), and Michael Grimm (R-NY.) led a Capitol Hill event to show their support of the legislation that is also supported by Amtrak and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.  The legislation is called the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, or more formally H.R. 2066.

What the Bill Proposes

The bill, which the Representatives introduced to congress in May of 2013, proposes that the government-owned Amtrak would enact a pet policy that allowed ticketed passengers to transport domesticated dogs and cats in the same manner as a carry-on bag, provided that

  • The animal is contained in a crate
  • The kennel can be stowed according to Amtrak’s carry-on size requirements
  • The passenger is traveling less than 750 miles
  • The passenger pays a fee for the transport of its animal.

The bill would also allow a crated animal to travel in the same manner as cargo.

The legislation would not affect standing Amtrak policies that regard the ability of passengers to travel with their service animals.

Get Involved

You can track the progress of the bill through congress by visiting the govtrack.us website, which predicts that the bill has a 71% chance of becoming passed legislation.

The Humane Society of the United States offers a pre-fabricated email form urging your legislator to support H.R. 2066 that you can fill out and send from their website.

Ensuring Safe Travel

We at Pet Super Store advocate for the safe travel of all pets, regardless of if traveling by plane, train, or automobile. We offer a wide range of crates, carriers, and car seats that can help keep your pet safe, however you choose travel.

Crates are usually considered the preferred method of travel for animals. The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests the following guidelines when purchasing a crate for your pet:

  • The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn, and lie down.
  • Make sure the crate is sturdy, free of any dangerous interior protrusions, and has quality handles and grips.
  • The crate should have a leak-proof bottom that you should cover with an absorbent material.
  • The crate should be well ventilated.

Keep the crate free of clutter, but do provide a blanket and toy for comfort, and a water dish. You should hydrate your pets throughout travel, but should limit the amount of food intake they receive.

If you have questions or concerns when looking at crates or other travel accessories to purchase for you pet, don’t hesitate to contact Pet Super Store’s customer service. We’ve hand-selected the products we sell to ensure quality and we’re always available to help you choose the best fit.

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