Dilemma for tornado shelters with no pets rule

04/25/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Oklahoma City – Emergency officials are reportedly dealing with challenges caused by a number of pet owners who bring their animals with them to public storm shelters during tornado season. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), issues with overcrowding and the refusal of some people to stay in safe houses without their pets present safety concerns.

David Grizzle, emergency management coordinator for the college town of Norman, is quoted as stating of the issue, “Pets and sheltering is always a problem… Pets come in and sometimes they’re hard to control.” Norman closed its public shelters last year due to overcrowding and pet control issues.

In Oklahoma, more attention has been placed on storm shelter access this year due to the high number of deadly tornados that occurred in 2013. In a report by the National Weather Service, local emergency managers were advised to spread the word about pet sheltering during severe weather; however, options for doing so were not listed.

Byron Boshell, director of Security at Oklahoma City’s Integris Baptist Medical Center, is further quoted as stating of the matter, “People are so attached to their pets, I don’t think it’s even possible to ban them.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Oklahoma City Legal News

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