New Legislation Introduced to Allow Pets on Amtrak

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amtrakOn Tuesday legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that would require Amtrak to allow passengers to travel with domesticated cats and dogs on certain trains. The Pets on Trains Act of 2013 would change current policy that prohibits dogs from being brought on trains unless they are service dogs for people with disabilities.

Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Representative Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) are the bipartisan co-sponsors of this bill. The new legislation would create policies for traveling with pets. The proposed legislation wouldn’t require Amtrak to add additional trains or cars, but trains with more than one passenger car would designate a car for passengers traveling with pets. A passenger travelling with a pet must pay an extra fee and keep their dog or cat inside a kennel or carrier.

Currently only service dogs are permitted on Amtrak, and this excludes comfort animals, search and rescue dogs and even police dogs.

“My dog, Lily, is part of our family and travels with us to and from California all the time. If I can take her on a plane, why can’t I travel with her on Amtrak, too?” said Denham. “Allowing families to bring their animals with them will facilitate transportation and efficiency while also providing a much-needed source of revenue for Amtrak.”